Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Yan Yan Shery Huang

Department of Engineering

Dr Yan Yan Shery Huang

yysh2

Yan Yan Shery Huang

University Lecturer in Bioengineering

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Research group: Biomechanics

Telephone: +44 1223 7 48559

Email: yysh2@eng.cam.ac.uk

Publications


Research interests

UROP project available, please visit: http://to.eng.cam.ac.uk/teaching/urops/projects.html#YYSH-01

My research group 'Biointerface' is interested in designing and developing biomimetic niche for tissue engineering, and organ-on-chip for high-throughput drug testing.

Living tissues are intricate ensembles of multiple cell types embedded in a complex, but well-defined extracellular matrix (ECM) of topographical and adhesive features ranging from nanometres to micrometres. Cell ladened ECMs act like units of reaction centres and information hubs. Corporation between these small units lead to a hierarchical structure (i.e. a human body) achieving homeostasis (balance).

We combine nanotechnology and new material fabrication techniques to construct the defined biochemical and physical inputs of an ECM scaffold, and to recapitulate the key attributes of a 'niche' unit. Our research is highly multi-disciplinary in nature, crossing fields of engineering, biology, chemistry, polymer physics and computer science. We aim to translate our scientific findings into exploring a new generation of tissue engineering constructs for personalised therapy, at affordable costs; and to provide new solutions for disease monitoring, drug testing, and better patient healthcare.

Strategic themes

Bioengineering

  • Near-field electrospinning
  • ​Bioelectronics
  • ​Multi-material deposition of tissue engineering scaffold
  • Organ-on-chips
  • Neural stem cell engineering
  • Vascular tissue engineering
  • Tumor niche models

Research projects

Projects are available in the following areas. Please contact me to discuss project details.

  • Biofabrication (3D printing, multi-material deposition)
  • Machine learning and computational simulation on cell-material interaction
  • In vitro cancer metastasis model
  • Neural stem cell engineering
  • Vascular tissue engineering

Research opportunities

Organ-on-chips as pathology models

This research area focuses on developing models to recapitulate the micro-environments for living cells and tissuesin vitro. Specifically, we apply our materials approach to study the motility of cancer cells when they interact with a vessel formed by endothelium cells, to mimic the conditions of cancer metastasis.

Soft tissue engineering

Mechanical stiffness and texture of the interfacing substrate play critical roles in the process of cell differentiation/ growth and tissue regeneration. Combining nanomaterials and new fabrication techniques, material interfaces mimicking biological tissue environments can be fabricated. These soft electronic systems will see a wide range of applications where electrical stimuli are required to deliver to the cellular system, a good example being the brain electrode. The project is hoped to bring further understanding in how the change in different physical environments (such as stiffness, electrical stimuli, surface roughness and anisotropy) will affect the differentiation/ growth of stem cells. The results also hold the key to optimise the material microstructure for bioelectronic applications.

Biofabrication for cell patterning, tissue scaffolds and bioelectronics

The next generation step change in health treatment will be the tailoring of artificial implants in combination with a patient's own cells to replace diseased or damaged tissues and organs. There will also be development in drug research through the creation of complex tissue models in vitro that mimic certain body systems. With these models we will be able to reduce the need for animal testing and provide a deeper understanding of the impact of drugs on cell function. To undertake these changes, one requires a fabrication technique that can accommodate a wider choice of biomaterials, combined with delivery of complexity in terms of feature size, structure and functionalities. We are developing a room temperature, low energy cost, low waste, direct-write technology to pattern bioactive, biocompatible fibrils and gels. Ultimately, the biomimetic construct will provide the building blocks for tissue regeneration. The development of this biofabrication technology will require in-depth understanding of the electrodyanmics of jet formation, precision instrumentation, and innovative materials processing.

Other positions

Director of Studies in Physics, Homerton College

Biography

I completed my MEng degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College London in 2007 (1st Class; top of the class for four years). With a Cambridge Gates Scholarship, I then pursued a PhD in Physics at Cambridge, focusing on carbon nanotechnology. I was a visiting researcher at Prof Rodney Ruoff's lab at University of Texas at Austin (2008). After graduating from my PhD in 2011, I was awarded an Oppenheimer Fellowship and a Homerton College Junior Research Fellowship. Since Aug 2013, I have started my Lectureship in Bioengineering here at Cambridge. Please see my interview with ''The Meaning of Success: Insights from Women at Cambridge'

Current group members and their projects

  • Cristina Bertulli (PhD student); Transendothelial migration in a tumour niche model
  • Xia Li (PhD student); Electrojet writing of biointerfaces
  • Zhaoying Li  (PhD student); Membrane-based interface
  • Atipat (Ming) Patharagulpong (PhD student); Topography guided neural stem cell differentiation
  • Nicholas Piano (MPhil student); Image-omics of celluar models

Alumni

Nano DTC rotation, Cambridge: Chris Kerr (2009), Harry Beeson (2011), William Robinson (2012), Michael Walker (2012), Rox Middleton (2013), Carmen Palacios-Berraquero (2014), Jean de La Verpilliere (2013)
Part II & III Physcis, Cambridge: Anna Eiden (2010), Carlos Gonzalez-Lopez (2010), Cristina Bertulli (2012), Peter Taylor (2012), Zhaoying Li (2013), Arvin Lim (2013), Niannan Xue (2012-2013), Emma Hill (2014), Hua Mao (2014), Danius Kilda (2014). 
Visiting students: Hongzi Mao (The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, 2012), Jin Liang (Hong Kong baptist university, 2012).