Summer 2017

Graduate & PostDoc Winter 2017

Principle Investigator

Dr. Chen

Dr. Shaochen Chen

Vice Chairman of NanoEngineering Department, UCSD

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Dr. Shaochen Chen is a Professor in the Nanoengineering department and Bioengineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the Founding Director of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Center. He is also a faculty member of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine and Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego.
Before joining UCSD, Dr. Chen had been a Professor and a Pearlie D. Henderson Centennial Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Between 2008 to 2010, Dr. Chen served as the Program Director for the Nanomanufacturing Program in the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Among his numerous awards, Dr. Chen received the CAREER award from NSF in 2001 and the Young Investigator award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2004. Dr. Chen is currently an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Fellow of the International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE), Fellow of the International Society for NanoManufacturing (ISNM), and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Our Research

The Chen group is interested in developing 3D bioprinting techniques with a micro or nanoscale printing resolution. We explore novel nanomaterials and biomaterials for tissue engineering applications using stem cells (e.g. human induced pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs). Our group not only investigates the fundamental scientific issues, such as cell interactions with micro and nano-environments, biomaterials science, nanophotonics, and biomechanics, but also solves the technological and translational issues associated with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Click Photos below to view the research we do

Biomaterials and

Stem Cells and
Tissue Engineering

Lasers and

Nanomaterials and

Biomaterials and Bioprinting

Our research into biomaterials and bioprinting is revolve around creating 3D biomaterials with gradient of stiffness, Poisson's ratio, geometry, size, and growth factor. Our targeted applications are drug screening and tissue regeneration.

(Left) 3D Scaffolds with designer shapes fabricated by DMD-based 3D-printing, (middle) 3D-printing of vasculature in mere second, (right) auxetic scaffold with a negative Poisson's ratio.

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Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering

Our research in functionalized biomaterials provides enhanced knowledge of cell-material interactions at nano and microscales in response to integrated physical and chemical stimuli.

(Left) Immunofluorescence images showing the biological functionality of the HUVEC seeded scaffolds. (Right) human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on a PEG scaffold with a zero Poisson's ratio.

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Lasers and Nanophotonics

Lasers and nanophotonics have been essential tools in our laboratory's research. The femtosecond laser system in the lab is being used to probe, interrogate, and modify biological systems and provide new strategies for disease diagnosis and therapeutics. It is also a central component for our 3D nanoscale bioprinting apparatus. By integrating plasmonics with the laser systems, we can generate and manipulate light at the nanoscale, creating new applications in sensing, imaging, and gene regulation of biological systems.

(Left) Nano-scaffold made by femtosecond laser nano-printing, (right) nanoscale web with a negative Poisson's ratio to study stem cell responses.

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Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing

We have developed a set of novel, massively parallel nano-patterning techniques including: a) Surface Plasmons Assisted Nanolithography (SPAN); b) Digital Micro-mirror Device based Projection Printing (DMD-PP); c) Nanofabrication using Near-Field Laser optics (Nano-NFL); and d) Flash Imprint Lithography using a Mask Aligner (FILM). Our continued efforts in developing novel nanofabrication techniques include approaches that integrate top-down with bottom-up processes. We are also developing nanomaterials such as gold nanorods and piezoelectric nanocomposites. Our aim is to apply these nanoscale processes and materials for the development of innovative biomedical devices.

(Left) Nanoimprinting of hydrogel. (Right) PEG-coated gold nano-rods

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  • Jacob Schimelman received the prestigious NSF graduate fellowship. (2018)
  • Michelle Ma is selected as a Siebel Scholar and selected as a finalist of Life Science Award in 3D Printing by Millipore Sigma
  • Dr. Chen received the Milton C. Shaw Manufacturing Research Medal from ASME for his "seminal contribution to the science and technology of manufacturing processes in the area of 3-D printing, bioprinting and nanomanufacturing" (6.2017)
  • Our work on "Direct 3D bioprinting of prevascularized tissue constructs with complex microarchitecture" is now published in Biomaterials
  • Our former MS and PhD graduate, Dr. Carlos Aguilar is now Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (
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