Yupeng Chen, Ph.D.
DNA-inspired Nanomaterials and Nano-devices, Drug and Gene Delivery, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative and translational Nanomedicine
Lab website: https://nanomedicine.bme.uconn.edu/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Yupeng.Chen.Nanomedicine/
Bronwell 210, 260 Glenbrook Road, Unit 3247
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-3247
Office Phone: (860) 486-7911
Office Fax: (860) 486-2500
BS (Chemistry) Fudan University
MS (Biomedical Engineering) Brown University
PhD (Nanomaterials and Nanomedicine) Brown University
Research in my laboratory focuses on design, synthesis, evaluation and application of DNA-inspired Janus-base nanomaterials. Janus-base nanomaterials are self-assembled from small-molecule units mimicking DNA base pairs and amino acids. Due to their versatile and biomimetic nature, we can engineer these nanomaterials into a variety of non-covalent architectures and devices for biomedical applications. Our lab has three directions:
1) Molecular Engineering. Utilizing molecular design, organic synthesis and computational modeling approaches, we design, synthesize and characterize a family of small molecules with multiple hydrogen donor-acceptor pairs, named “Janus bases“.
2) Drug and Gene Delivery. We assemble Janus bases with drugs and therapeutic RNAs or DNAs to generate “4D” non-covalent nanodevices, named “Nanopieces“. Superior than conventional drug delivery vehicles, these tiny, nano-rod shaped Nanopieces can penetrate into deep tissues with dense extracellular matrix such as cartilage, brain and solid tumors.
3) Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. We has created a “4D” nanostructure named “Nano-Matrix“. It is fabricated from Janus bases and extracellular matrix proteins. The Nano-Matrix create a bioactive microenvironment to mediate stem cell differentiation and promote target tissue regeneration. Importantly, it is an injectable scaffold which can self-assemble and localize at the injury site, suitable for “difficult-to-reach” tissue injuries such as growth plate fracture and brain damage. Furthermore, relying on these highly versatile Nano-Matrices, we are able to build engineered tissue constructs and tissue chips mimicking authentic tissue functions.
Honors and Awards:
- New Investigator Recognition Award (NIRA), Orthopaedic Research Society, San Antonio, 2013. (The top-one prize winner among 10 awardees selected from 40 finalists out of 545 applicants all over the world.)
- Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, National Science Foundation, 2017.
- Chen, J. Cossman, C. T. Jayasuriya, X. Li, Y. J. Guan, V. Fonseca, K. Yang, C. Charbonneau, H. Yu, K. Kanbe, P. X. Ma, E. Darling and Q. Chen*. Deficient Mechanical Activation of Anabolic Transcripts and Post-Traumatic Cartilage Degeneration in Matrilin-1 Knockout Mice. PLOS One. 2016 Jun 7;11(6):e0156676.
- Chen, H. Yu, Y. Chen, “Nanomaterials Compositions, Synthesis, and Assembly”, US and International Patents in WO, US, EP, CA, CN, KR, JP. Published in 2017. US20170362238A1
- Liu, J. Wang, Y. Chen, Z. Zhang, L. Saunders, E. Schipani, Q. Chen, P. X. Ma. Suppressing mesenchymal stem cell hypertrophy and endochondral ossification in 3D cartilage regeneration with nanofibrous poly(l-lactic acid) scaffold and matrilin-3. Acta Biomater. 2018 Jun 22. pii: S1742-7061(18)30373-8.
- Yau, H. Yu and Y. Chen. mRNA Detection with Fluorescence-base Imaging Techniques for Arthritis Diagnosis. Journal of Rheumatology Research. 2019; 1(2): 39-46.
- Sun, Y. Chen, H. Yu, J. T. Machan, A. Alladin, J. Ramirez, R. Taliano, J. Hart, Q. Chen, R. M. Terek. Anti-miRNA Oligonucleotide Therapy for Chondrosarcoma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Jul 24. pii: molcanther.1020.2018. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-1020.