Su Chin Heo, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
375A Stemmler Hall
36th Street and Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6081
Office: 2155200161
Fax: 215-573-2133
Lab: 215-898-8653
B.S. (Biomedical Engineering)
Inje University, 2006.
M.S. (Biomedical Engineering)
Inje University, 2008.
Ph.D. (Bioengineering)
University of Pennsylvania, 2015.
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Description of Research Expertise

My laboratory is focused on musculoskeletal cell and tissue engineering to develop new therapeutic strategies for the repair and regeneration of dense fibrous tissues, with a particular interest in the tendon, ligament and knee meniscus. Our research team is exploring the feedback between the biophysical environment and cell biology in the context of tissue remodeling (e.g. degeneration, repair, and development). We are also interested in developing innovative methods to enable precise control of the cellular microenvironment, and to address our fundamental questions about how biophysical cues regulate cellular behaviors including stem cell differentiation. In addition, our team aims to expand our findings and knowledge to engineer complex functional tissue constructs for regenerative medicine applications.

Our current research focuses on investigating 1) How the chemo-mechanical cues regulate stem cell differentiation with advanced bioreactor and biomaterial systems, exploring 2) How the development or degeneration of fibrous connective tissues alters the spatial genome organization at the nanoscale using a Super-resolution microscope [i.e. Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM)], and engineering 3) Multiphasic tissue constructs for regenerative medicine. We expect that our research programs in combination will enable the development of tissue repair and regeneration tailored for fibrous connective tissues, and will generate new therapeutic strategies of musculoskeletal disorders.

Selected Publications

Su-Jin Heo, Shreyasi Thakur, Xingyu Chen, Claudia Loebel, Boao Xia, Rowena McBeath, Jason A Burdick, Vivek B Shenoy, Robert L Mauck, Melike Lakadamyali: Aberrant chromatin reorganization in cells from diseased fibrous connective tissue in response to altered chemomechanical cues. Nature Biomedical Engineering 7(2): 177-191, Feb 2023.

Boao Xia, Dong-Hwa Kim, Sonia Bansal, Yongho Bae, Robert L Mauck, Su-Jin Heo: Development of a decellularized meniscus matrix-based nanofibrous scaffold for meniscus tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia 128: 175-185, July 2021.

Su-Jin Heo, Kwang Hoon Song, Shreyasi Thakur, Liane M. Miller, Xuan Cao, Ana P. Peredo, Breanna N. Seiber, Feini Qu, Tristan P. Driscoll, Vivek B. Shenoy, Melike Lakadamyali, Jason A. Burdick, Robert L. Mauck : Nuclear Softening Expedites Interstitial Cell Migration in Fibrous Networks and Dense Connective Tissues. Science Advances 6: eaax5083, Jun 2020.

Eric N. Dai, Su-Jin Heo, and Robert L. Mauck: “Looping In” Mechanics: Mechanobiologic Regulation of the Nucleus and the Epigenome. Advanced Healthcare Materials 9: e2000030, Apr 2020.

Kwang Hoon Song, Su‐Jin Heo, Ana P Peredo, Matthew D Davidson, Robert L Mauck, Jason A Burdick: Influence of Fiber Stiffness on Meniscal Cell Migration into Dense Fibrous Networks. Advanced Healthcare Materials 9(8): e1901228, April 2020.

Alexandra Stanley, Su‐Jin Heo, Robert L Mauck, Foteini Mourkioti, Eileen M Shore: Elevated BMP and mechanical signaling through YAP1/RhoA Poises FOP Mesenchymal Progenitors for Osteogenesis. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 34(10): 1894-1909, October 2019.

Su-Jin Heo, Brian D Cosgrove, Eric N Dai, Robert L Mauck: Mechano-adaptation of the stem cell nucleus. Nucleus. Taylor & Francis, 9(1): 9-19, Dec 2018.

SJ Heo, SE Spencer, DH Kim, KS Saleh, RL Mauck: Expansion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Electrospun Scaffolds Maintains Stemness, Mechano-Responsivity, and Differentiation Potential. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 36(2): 808-815, Feb 2018.

SJ Heo, TP Driscoll, SD Thorpe, NL Nerurkar, BM Baker, MT Yang, CC Chen, DA Lee, RL. Mauck: Differentiation Alters Stem Cell Nuclear Architecture, Mechanics, and Mechano-Sensitivity. eLife 5(e18207): 1-21, Nov 2016.

SJ Heo*, BD Cosgrove*, EN Dai*, RL Mauck: Mechano-Adaptation of the Stem Cell Nucleus. Nucleus 9(1): 9-19 Jan 2018 Notes: *: Equal contributions as first author.

SE Spencer, TP Driscoll, HY Tseng, PC Liu, SJ Heo, RL Mauck, PG Chao: Crimped Nanofibrous Biomaterials Mimic Microstructure and Mechanics of Native Tissue and Alter Strain Transfer to Cells. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 3(11): 2869-2879, Nov 2017.

SJ Heo, WM Han, SE Szczesny, BD Cosgrove, DW Elliott, DA Lee, RL Duncan, RL Mauck: Mechanically Induced Chromatin Condensation Requires Cellular Contractility in Mesenchymal Stem Cell. Biophysical Journal 111: 1-11, Aug 2016.

WM Han*, SJ Heo*, TP Driscoll, JF Delucca, CM McLeod, LJ Smith, RL Duncan, RL Mauck#, DM Elliott#: Microstructural Heterogeneity Directs Micromechanics and Mechanobiology in Native and Engineered Fibrocartilage. Nature Materials 15(4): 477-484, Apr 2016 Notes: *: Equal contributions as first author, #: corresponding authors.

DH Kim, SJ Heo, YG Kang, JW Shin, SH Park, JW Shin: Shear Stress and Circumferential Stretch by Pulsatile Flow Direct Vascular Endothelial Lineage Commitment of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Engineer. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 27(3): 60, Mar 2016.

SJ Heo, SD Thorpe, TP Driscoll, RL Duncan, DA Lee, RL. Mauck: Biophysical Regulation of Chromatin Architecture Instills a Mechanical Memory in Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Scientific Reports 23(5): 16895, Nov 2015.

TP Driscoll, BD Cosgrove, SJ Heo, ZH Shurden, RL. Mauck: Cytoskeletal Strain Transfer Regulates YAP Signaling with Dynamic Tensile Loading. Biophysical Journal 108(12): 2783-93, Jun 2015.

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Last updated: 05/12/2024
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