About Us

Our group's research interests lie at the nexus of bioengineering, biophysics, and biology. Specifically, we integrate micro/nanoengineering, single-cell technologies, and systems and synthetic biology methods with new discoveries of mechanobiology, epigenetics, and stem cell biology for advancing understanding of human development and cancer biology. In our research, we have made significant contributions to these research areas: stem cell bioengineering, developmental bioengineering, cell mechanics, mechanotransduction, micro/nanofluidics, and BioMEMS. (for details, please read our Research; also see Mechanical Engineering Annual Reports highlighting our research, Y2010-2011 Report, Y2012-2013 Report, Y2014-2015 Report, Y2017-2018 Report)

Group Members

Meet the lab (from left to right): Xufeng Xue, Agnes M. Resto Irizarry, Jianping Fu, Yi Zheng, Sajedeh Nasr Esfahani, and Samuel Byung-Deuk Lee. (see Members)


Jianping Fu and Deborah Gumucio discuss their microfluidic platform for reliably producing stem cell colonies that mimic early stages of human development in order to investigate infertility and other big questions in maternal and child health.

Video recorded for our MCubed sponsored project, "Microfluidic systems immunology for transformative diagnostics for infants". Collaborative interdisciplinary team science to address complex clinical challenges.

Recent News

04/08/2020: Dr. Fu has been selected as a Council Member for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group (CMBE-SIG)!

03/31/2020: Samuel was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! (link)

03/30/2020: Dr. Fu has been elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)! (link)

03/17/2020: IBBL was awarded the Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for Research, for their significant contributions to the emerging field of synthetic embryology.

12/11/2019: Yuanyuan's paper is published in Science Advances online today! (link)

10/31/2019: Nature News on primate embryos grown in the lab features Dr. Fu's comment! (link)

09/11/2019: Yi's Nature paper is published online today! (link)

08/05/2019: IBBL welcomes its newest member, Samuel Byung-Deuk Lee. Welcome on board, Samuel! (see IBBL Members)

07/26/2019: Congratulations to Sajedeh! She was just awarded the NIH T32 Fellowship from the Center for Organogenesis Training Program. (see Student Awards)

12/12/2018: Fu co-authors a commentary on the subject of synthetic embryos in a Commentary published in Nature! (link)

07/04/2018: Our research on developing synthetic models of human embryogenesis is featured in a News Feature published in Nature! (link)

05/21/2018: Congratulations to Xufeng and Yubing. Their paper on modeling embryonic patterning of neuroectoderm tissue using human pluripotent stem cells has been published in Nature Materials! (see Publications)

03/28/2018: Xufeng won the Outstanding Poster Award from the 9th International Conference on Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology!(see Student Awards and Group Photos)

Selected Publications

Essential amnion signals for primate primitive streak formation resolved by scRNA map
Ran Yang, et al.
bioRxiv, DOI: 2020.05.28.118703. (Nature Communications, under revision) [Link]

Force-FAK signaling coupling at individual focal adhesions coordinates mechanosensing and microtissue repair
Dennis W. Zhou, et al.
Nature Communications, in press, 2021. [Link]

Spatially resolved cell polarity proteomics of a human epiblast model
Sicong Wang, et al.
Science Advances, in press, 2021. [PDF]

Stem-cell-based embryo models for fundamental research and translation
Jianping Fu, Aryeh Warmflash, and Lutolf Matthias
Nature Materials, vol. 20, pp. 132-144, 2021. [PDF]

Mechanical tension promotes formation of gastrulation-like nodes and patterns mesoderm specification in human embryonic stem cells
Jonathon M. Muncie, et al.
Developmental Cell, vol. 55, pp. 679-694, 2020. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Dorsal-ventral patterned neural cyst from human pluripotent stem cells in a neurogenic niche
Yuanyuan Zheng, et al.
Science Advances, vol. 5, eaax5933, 2019. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Controlled modeling of human epiblast and amnion development using stem cells
Yi Zheng, et al.
Nature, vol. 573, pp. 421-425, 2019. [PDF]

Commentary: Debate ethics of embryo models from stem cells
Nicolas Rivron, et al.
Nature, vol. 564, pp. 183-185, 2018. [PDF]

Mechanics-guided embryonic patterning of neuroectoderm tissue from human pluripotent stem cells
Xufeng Xue, et al.
Nature Materials, vol. 17, pp. 633-641, 2018. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

A pluripotent stem cell-based model for post-implantation human amniotic sac development
Yue Shao, et al.
Nature Communications, vol. 8, 208, 2017. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Self-organized amniogenesis by human pluripotent stem cells in a biomimetic implantation-like niche
Yue Shao, et al.
Nature Materials, vol. 16, pp. 419-425, 2017. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Mechanosensitive subcellular rheostasis drives emergent single-cell mechanical homeostasis
Shinuo Weng, Yue Shao, Weiqiang Chen, and Jianping Fu
Nature Materials, vol. 15, pp. 961-967, 2016. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Hippo / YAP-mediated rigidity-dependent motor neuron differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells
Yubing Sun, et al.
Nature Materials, vol. 13, pp. 599-604, 2014. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

More Publications...