Senior Research Fellow, NUS Tissue Engineering Program
Life Sciences Institute
My research interest is in the repair of articular cartilage with the use of adult stem cells and primary chondrocytes. The focus is on the investigation and mechanistic understanding of the various microenvironmental cues, and biophysical stimulation, in directing stem cell and chondrocyte cartilage formation.
For effective cell-based therapy for cartilage regeneration, it is important to understand the complexity of the cartilage tissue, and the biological difference between stem cells and primary chondrocytes, so to provide microenvironment with appropriate biochemical, biophysical and mechanical cue catering to specific cell types for optimise tissue formation.
With collaborative efforts, the aim is to develop novel translational treatment to improve functional cartilage regeneration.
Our team consists of research scientists and orthopaedic surgeons in the field of cartilage research and regeneration. We actively collaborate with researchers and engineers with different disciplinary expertise to incorporate novel techniques for the translational application to cartilage repair.
1. Wu Y, Yang Z*, Law JB, He AY, Abbas AA, Denslin V, Kamarul T, Hui JH, Lee EH*. The Combined Effect of Substrate Stiffness and Surface Topography on Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Tissue Eng Part A. 2017 Jan;23(1-2):43-54.
2. Parate D, Franco-Obregón A*, Fröhlich J, Beyer C, Abbas AA, Kamarul T, Hui JHP*, Yang Z*. Enhancement of mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis with short-term low intensity pulsed electromagnetic fields. Scientific Reports 2017 Aug 25;7(1):9421.
3. Yin L, Wu Y, Yang Z, Tee CA, Denslin V, Lai Z, Lim CT, Lee EH, Han J. Microfluidic label-free selection of mesenchymal stem cell subpopulation during culture expansion extends the chondrogenic potential in vitro. Lab Chip. 2018 Mar 13;18(6):878-889.
4. Yin L*, Wu Y*, Yang Z*, Denslin V, Ren X, Tee CA, Lai Z, Lim CT, Han J, Lee EH. Characterization and application of size-sorted zonal chondrocytes for articular cartilage regeneration. Biomaterials. 2018 May;165:66-78.
5. Tee CA, Yang Z, Yin L, Wu Y, Han J, Lee EH. Improved zonal chondrocyte production protocol integrating size-based inertial spiral microchannel separation and dynamic microcarrier culture for clinical application. Biomaterials. 2019 Nov;220:119409.
6. Dinesh Parate, Nurul Dinah Kadir, Cenk Celik, Eng Hin Lee, James HP Hui, Alfredo Franco-Obregón*, Zheng Yang*. Pulsed electromagnetic fields potentiate the paracrine function of mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage regeneration. Stem Cell Res & Ther. 2020 Feb 3;11(1):46.
7. Yin L, Yang Z, Wu Y, Denslin V, Yu CC, Tee CA, Lim CT, Han J, Lee EH. Label-free separation of mesenchymal stem cell subpopulations with distinct differentiation potencies and paracrine effects. Biomaterials. 2020 May 240: 119881. doi.org/10.1016
8. Wu Y, Yang Z*, Denslin V, Ren X, Lee CS, Yap FL, Lee EH*. Repair of Osteochondral Defects Using Predifferentiated Mesenchymal Stem Cells of Distinct Phenotypic Character Derived from a Nano-topographic Platform. Am J Sports Med. 2020 Jun;48(7):1735-1747.
9. Celik C, Franco-Obregón A*, Lee EH, Hui JHP, Yang Z*. Directionalities of magnetic fields and topographic scaffolds synergise to enhance MSC chondrogenesis. Acta Biomaterialia. 2021 Jan;119:169–183.
10. Kadir ND, Yang Z*, Hassan A, Denslin V, Lee EH*. Electrospun fibers enhanced the paracrine signaling of mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage regeneration. Stem Cell Res & Ther. 2021 Feb 3;12(1):100.