Assistant Professor, Division of Bioengineering and Department of Surgery, National University of Singapore
Interaction of adult and embryonic stem cells with nanotopography; Nanotopography induced differentiation of adult and embryonic stem cells for neural, cornea and vascular tissue engineering; Regulation of stem cells lineage commitment and differentiation; Biomaterial approach to study ex-vivo stem cell expansion
Stem cells hold great potential in tissue engineering whereby diseased or damaged tissue can be regenerated through a selective yet intricate combination of scaffold, growth factors and cells. The success of tissue engineering approaches however, relies upon a systematic regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation in vitro for a viable and ready cell source. In contrast to classical regulation of stem cell fate using chemical modulators, physical attributes of the extracellular matrix has been shown to be crucial mediators of stem cell fate. Using cellular differentiation as a model, we seek to understand the molecular basis of stem cells’ ability to sense the extracellular architecture and the transmission of these mechanical signals into a lineage regulation mechanism. These findings will be instrumental in efficient stem cell fate regulation and also understanding diseases involving mechanical dysfunction, some of which includes cancer and genetic malformations.
Prof Yim received her Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University before undergoing her Post-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and in
the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University before she joined the National University of Singapore as a faculty in the Division of Bioengineering and Department of Surgery in 2007. Her research interests in understanding how the chemical and biomechanical cues influence stem cells behaviour spurred her to join MBI in 2009, together with a group of akin researchers focused on cell and tissue mechanics. Experienced with nanofabrication technologies and stem cell culture techniques, Evelyn will lead her group in MBI in studying the interaction between cell and the biomechanical cues in the microenvironment, and to apply this knowledge to direct stem cell differentiation and tissue regeneration.
Evelyn K.F. Yim, Eric M. Darling, Karina Kulangara, Farshid Guilak and Kam W. Leong. “Nanotopography-induced changes in focal adhesions, cytoskeletal organization, and mechanical properties of human mesenchymal stem cells.” Biomaterials. 31: 1299-1306, 2010.
Soh Zeom Yow, Chai Hoon Quek, Evelyn K.F. Yim, Chwee Teck Lim and KamW. Leong. “Collagen-based Fibrous Scaffold for Spatial Organization of Encapsulated and Seeded Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Biomaterials.” Biomaterials. 30(6): 1133-1142, 2008.
Evelyn K.F. Yim and Michael V. Sefton. “Amidine surface modification of poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinyl chloride) reduces platelet adhesion.” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, J Biomed Mater Res A, 2009. 89(3): p. 780-90.
Evelyn K.F. Yim, Stella W. Pang and Kam W. Leong. “Synthetic nanostructures inducing differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells into neuronal lineage.” Experimental Cell Research, 313(9): 1820-1829, 2007.
Evelyn K.F. Yim, Andrew C.A. Wan, Catherine Le Visage, I-Chien Liao and Kam W. Leong. “Proliferation and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cell encapsulated in polyelectrolyte complexation fibrous scaffold.” Biomaterials, 27 (36): 6111-6122, 2006.