Assistant Professor Sung Jin Park | Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University, School of Medicine
Abstract: Utilizing living materials as building blocks for engineered biohybrid systems enables replicating biological activities in vitro at a cellular, tissue and organ level. Furthermore, integrating stem cell technologies offer new strategies of personalized medicine, from enabling drug discovery to engineering transplantable artificial organs. In this talk, I will focus on our tissue-engineering approach to recapitulate biological functions at tissue- and system- levels, by advancing the control of living building blocks. First, I will discuss optogenetic approach for the development of biohybrid soft-robotic swimmers capable of coordinated muscle contraction and undulatory swimming. Second, I will present the development of tissue-level model of a human inherited cardiac monogenic disease, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, which can recapitulate exercise-induce arrhythmia upon optogenetic and catecholamine stimulation. Both biohybrid examples illustrate the potential and progress of the biohybrid systems to transform human muscle disease models as well as artificial tissues and organs.
Bio: Sung Jin Park, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University School of Medicine. He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University in Korea, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University with double Master's degree in Electrical Engineering. He then continued postdoctoral research at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, where he developed engineered biological systems using living materials as building blocks. He has focused on enabling the control of biological systems across scales from artificial cells, to engineered tissues, to artificial soft-robots, in order to better recapitulate biological activities and to build more complex living system. His work on tissue-engineered soft-robotic rays and photosynthetic organelles was selected as a cover of Science and Nature Biotechnology. The tissue-engineered ray was also selected as one of Popular Science best inventions of year 2016 and Gold Edison Award of 2017 and featured in more than 100 news outlets such as New York Times, BBC, Financial Times, and Economist.