I have innovated bioinspired engineering principles to develop biomedical platform technologies and uncover fundamental questions in human health and diseases. By leveraging a human microphysiological Organ-on-a- chip model, I have created paradigm-shifting biomimicry to reconstitute microarchitecture of human tissues, physiological functions, and mechanobiological dynamics of a living human organ. I am particularly interested in emulating a host-microbiome ecosystem that is associated with homeostasis, disease initiation and development, and therapeutic outcomes of biopharmaceuticals by integrating 3D organoid cultures, clinical microbiology, microfluidics, and tissue engineering.
The microengineered Gut-on-a-chip and personalized Disease-on-a-chip models have demonstrated complex crosstalk between epithelium, gut microbiome, and immune cells in a defined space and time. My group is currently building human gastrointestinal disease models to identify pathophysiological and etiological factors in colorectal cancer (CRC), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and neuropathological diseases associated with a dysfunction in the gut-brain axis (GBA). By encompassing patient-derived intestinal organoids, immune cells, stromal cells, and microbiome, phenotypic and pathological manifestation in individual patients will be simulated in the “Personalized disease-on-a-chip” to validate efficacy and toxicity of new drug candidates, study host-microbiome crosstalk, and contribute to the Precision Medicine.