Zhen Ma

Assistant Professor, Carol and Samuel Nappi Research Scholar
Department of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering
Address: 318 Bowne Hall
Phone: 315-443-
E-mail: Zhen Ma <mazhen2046@gmail.com>
Lab website: http://myheart.syr.edu

Research Topics:

Cardiac Tissue Engineering and Organ-on-Chip:My lab focuses on the establishment multi-scale, multiplexed and multicellular cardiac tissue model, while also allowed me to develop “biologist-friendly” tools and instruments to explore single cell biology and 3D cell biology. Through these tissue models, I will gain mechanistic insights of human heart development, cardiac disease progression, drug efficacy and toxicity, and cell therapy benefits and risks.

Stem Cell Engineering and Organoid Models:My lab designs the organoid platform to promote the self-organization of 3D tissue structure to mimic early organ formation; to provide biophysical cues to drive the establishment of cell polarity for spatial tissue pattern; and to reduce tissue heterogeneity to create a systematic and experimentally reproducible in vitro organogenesis model.



Cell-Environment Interactions and Mechanobiology:
My lab utilizes engineering tools to precisely control the cellular microenvironment, to better analyze the cells’ responsiveness to external perturbations and delineate the signaling pathways underlying the observations.

Recent Publications:

      1. Mathur A., Ma Z., Loskill P., Jeeawoody S., and Healy K.E. (2016) “In vitro cardiac tissue models: current status and future prospects” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 96:203-13.
      2. Ma Z., Wang J., Loskill P., Huebsch N., Koo S., Svedlund F.L., Marks N.C., Hua E., Grigoropoulos C.P., Conklin B.R., and Healy K.E. (2015) “Self-organizing cardiac microchamber mediated by geometric confinement” Nature Communications 6: 7413.
      3. Ma Z., Koo S., Finnegan M.A., Loskill P., Huebsch N., Marks N.C., Grigoropoulos C.P., Conklin B.R., and Healy K.E. (2014) “Three-dimensional filamentous human diseased cardiac tissue model” Biomaterials 35(5): 1367-77.
      4. Ma Z., Liu Q., Yang H., Runyan R.B., Eisenberg C.A., Xu M., Borg T.K., Wang Y., and Gao B.Z. (2013) “Laser patterning for MSC cardiogenic differentiation study at the single-cell level” Light: Science and Application 2: e68.
    5. Ma Z., Liu Q., Liu H., Yang H., Yun J.X., Eisenberg C.A., Borg T.K., and Gao B.Z. (2012) “Laser-patterned stem-cell bridges in a cardiac muscle model for on-chip electrical conductivity analyses” Lab on a Chip 12(3): 566-73. Cover Article