My strategy for the creation of artificial organs is to provide the appropriate mechanical and biochemical inputs to stem cells at critical stages of development. By coordinating these inputs, I have been able to guide the differentiation and morphogenesis of the cells into functional, three-dimensional tissue structures that mimic the key features of natural organs. In this talk, I will present my current research on the development of a new human fetal heart model derived from induced pluripotent stem cells for studying mechanobiology in heart development. Specifically, I will discuss my efforts to create a chamber-forming heart model that closely resembles the key morphogenesis processes, cell composition, gene expression, and function of the natural heart. I will also highlight my work on understanding the mechanical forces that drive heart chamber formation and modeling congenital heart diseases. Additionally, I will present my past research on the development of a scalable engineered human skeletal muscle with perfusable vasculature and a muscle training system using combined electrical and mechanical stimulation. These were achieved by recapitulating the natural muscle structure and environment. In these projects, I particularly studied the mechanical changes in engineered skeletal muscle tissues due to heterotypic cell-cell interactions and the training. Overall, this talk will demonstrate the potential of my multidisciplinary approach in advancing our fabrication techniques to obtain artificial organs and in understanding the role of mechanical stress in organ formation.
About the Speaker
Dr. Hyeonyu Kim is a postdoctoral scholar in the Joseph Wu lab at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During her Ph.D., she developed a new culture system for vascularization of engineered skeletal muscles and elucidated training-induced mechanical changes in engineered skeletal muscle tissues with Prof. Harry Asada and Roger Kamm. At Stanford University, Hyeonyu’s main interest is to create human heart development models and to study tissue-level mechanobiology in heart chamber formation. Her research has been published in leading journals including Cell Stem Cell, Biofabrication, the FASEB Journal. She has also been recognized for her research with an American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Samsung Scholarship.
Host: Professor Mariana Kersh