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About Us

Our group's research interests lie at the nexus of engineering, biology, and medicine. 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 diseases. In our research, we have made significant contributions to these areas: stem cell bioengineering, developmental bioengineering, mechanobiology, and BioMEMS. (for details, please read our Research; also see Nature News 2019, Nature News Feature 2021, MIT Technology Review 2017, MIT Technology Review 2019 highlighting our research)

Group Members

Meet the lab. Front row (from left to right): Sajedeh Nasr Esfahani, Agnes M. Resto Irizarry, Zhaoyi Xu, Shiyu Sun. Back row (from left to right): Robin Yan, Rami Tshuva, Yue Liu, Xufeng Xue, Yi Zheng, Jeyoon Bok, Jianping Fu, Aidan Terhune. (see Members)


The first cell culture method that produces a full model of the early stages of the human central nervous system. This model has a transformative potential to advance our knowledge of brain development and developmental brain diseases. Video recorded for X. Xue, et al. Nature, 2024.

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 Y. Zheng, et al. Nature, 2019.

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

Selected Recent Publications

Cultivating advanced embryo models through bioengineering mastery
Xufeng Xue, Yue Liu, and Jianping Fu
Nature Reviews Bioengineering, in press, 2024. [PDF]

A human pluripotent stem cell-based somitogenesis model using microfluidics
Yue Liu, Yung Su Kim, Xufeng Xue, Yuchuan Miao, Norio Kobayashi, Shiyu Sun, Robin Zhexuan Yan, Qiong Yang, Olivier Pourquié, and Jianping Fu
Cell Stem Cell, in press, 2024. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Towards developing human organs via embryo models and chimeras
Jun Wu and Jianping Fu
Cell, in press, 2024. [PDF]

A patterned human neural tube model using microfluidic gradients
Xufeng Xue, Yung Su Kim, Alfredo-Isaac Ponce-Arias, Richard O'laughlin, Robin Zhexuan Yan, Norio Kobayashi, Rami Yair Tshuva, Yu-Hwai Tsai, Shiyu Sun, Yi Zheng, Yue Liu, Frederick C.K. Wong, Azim Surani, Jason R. Spence, Hongjun Song, Guo-Li Ming, Orly Reiner, and Jianping Fu
Nature, vol. 628, pp. 391-399, 2024. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Regulation of long-range BMP gradients and embryonic polarity by propagation of local calcium-firing activity
Hyung Chul Lee, Nidia M. M. Oliveira, Cato Hastings, Peter Baillie-Benson, Adam A. Moverley, Hui-Chun Lu, Yi Zheng, Elise L. Wilby, Timothy T. Weil, Karen M. Page, Jianping Fu, Naomi Moris, and Claudio D. Stern
Nature Communications, vol. 15, 1463, 2024. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Morphogenesis beyond in vivo
Yue Liu, Xufeng Xue, Shiyu Sun, Norio Kobayashi, Yung Su Kim, and Jianping Fu
Nature Reviews Physics, vol. 6, pp. 28-44, 2024. [PDF]

Derivation of human primordial germ cell-like cells in an embryonic-like culture
Sajedeh Nasr Esfahani, Yi Zheng, Auriana Arabpour, Agnes M. Resto Irizarry, Norio Kobayashi, Xufeng Xue, Yue Shao, Cheng Zhao, Nicole L. Agranonik, Megan Sparrow, Timothy J. Hunt, Jared Faith, Mary Jasmine Lara, Qiu Ya Wu, Sherman Silber, Sophie Petropoulos, Ran Yang, Kenneth R. Chien, Amander T. Clark, and Jianping Fu
Nature Communications, vol. 15, 167, 2024. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Changing the public perception of human embryology
Nicolas C. Rivron, Alfonso Martinez-Arias, Karen Sermon, Christine Mummery, Hans Schöler, James Wells, Jenny Nichols, Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis, Madeline A. Lancaster, Jianping Fu, Janet Rossant, and Kazuto Kato
Nature Cell Biology, vol. 25, pp. 1717-1719, 2023. [PDF]

Why researchers should use human embryo models with caution
Janet Rossant and Jianping Fu
Nature, vol. 622, pp. 22-24, 2023. [PDF]

Mechanically enhanced biogenesis of gut spheroids with instability-driven morphomechanics
Feng Lin, Xia Li, Shiyu Sun, Zhongyi Li, Jianbo Bai, Lin Song, Bo Li, Jianping Fu, and Yue Shao
Nature Communications, vol. 14, 6016, 2023. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Dissecting peri-implantation development using cultured human embryos and embryo-like assembloids
Zongyong Ai, Baohua Niu, Yu Yin, Lifeng Xiang, Gaohui Shi, Kui Duan, Sile Wang, Yingjie Hu, Chi Zhang, Chengting Zhang, Lujuan Rong, Ruize Kong, Tingwei Chen, Yixin Guo, Wanlu Liu, Nan Li, Shumei Zhao, Xiaoqing Zhu, Xuancheng Mai, Yonggang Li, Ze Wu, Yi Zheng, Jianping Fu, Weizhi Ji, and Tianqing Li
Cell Research, vol. 33, pp. 661-678, 2023. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Single-cell analysis of embryoids reveals lineage diversification roadmaps of early human development
Yi Zheng, Robin Zhexuan Yan, Shiyu Sun, Mutsumi Kobayashi, Lifeng Xiang, Ran Yang, Alexander Goedel, Yu Kang, Xuefeng Xue, Sajedeh Nasr Esfahani, Yue Liu, Agnes M. Resto Irizarry, Weisheng Wu, Yunxiu Li, Weizhi Ji, Yuyu Niu, Kenneth R. Chien, Tianqing Li, Toshihiro Shioda, and Jianping Fu
Cell Stem Cell, vol. 29, pp. 1402-1419, 2022. [PDF | Supplemental Materials]

Engineering multiscale structural orders for high-fidelity embryoids and organoids
Yue Shao, and Jianping Fu
Cell Stem Cell, vol. 29, pp. 722-743, 2022. [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]

Amnion signals are essential for mesoderm formation in primates
Ran Yang, Alexander Goedel, Yu Kang, Chengyang Si, Chu Chu, Yi Zheng, Zhenzhen Chen, Peter J. Gruber, Yao Xiao, Chikai Zhou, Chuen-Yan Leung, Yongchang Chen, Jianping Fu, Weizhi Ji, Fredrik Lanner, Yuyu Niu, and Kenneth Chien
Nature Communications, vol. 12, 5126, 2021. [PDF]

Spatially resolved cell polarity proteomics of a human epiblast model
Sicong Wang, Chien-Wei Lin, Chari L. Cortez, Amber E. Carleton, Craig Johnson, Linnea E. Taniguchi, Ryan F. Townshend, Venkatesha Basrur, Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Amy W. Hudson, Blake R. Hill, Peng Zou, Jianping Fu, Deborah L. Gumucio, Mara C. Duncan, and Kenichiro Taniguchi
Science Advances, vol. 7, eabd8407, 2021. [PDF]

Mechanical tension promotes formation of gastrulation-like nodes and patterns mesoderm specification in human embryonic stem cells
Jonathon M. Muncie, Nadia M.E. Ayad, Johnathon N. Lakins, Xufeng Xue, Jianping Fu, and Valerie M. Weaver
Developmental Cell, vol. 55, pp. 679-694, 2020. [PDF]

Controlled modeling of human epiblast and amnion development using stem cells
Yi Zheng, Xufeng Xue, Yue Shao, Sicong Wang, Sajedeh Nasr Esfahani, Zida Li, Jonathon M. Muncie, Johnathon N. Lakins, Valerie M. Weaver, Deborah L. Gumucio, and Jianping Fu
Nature, vol. 573, pp. 421-425, 2019. [PDF]

More Publications...