Project Description

Assistant Professor
Phone: (206)616-1133
Office: Foege N410G

South Lake Union campus:
Office: 850 Republican St. Rm 418

UW Bioengineering faculty Deok-Ho Kim

My laboratory explores biomimetic approaches to study structure-function relationships in living tissues and develop multiscale regenerative technologies for improving human health.
Stem cell and tissue engineering
Mechanobiology and mechanotransduction
Micro- and nanofabricated biomaterials
Quantitative live cell imaging analysis
BioMEMS and nanobiotechnology
Microfluidics and soft lithography
Our research spans the disciplinary boundaries between cell mechanobiology, nanobiotechnology, and biomaterials with an emphasis on their applications to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Through the use of multiscale fabrication and integration tools, we focus on the development and applications of biomimetic cell culture models and functional tissue engineering constructs for high-throughput drug screening, stem cell-based therapies, disease diagnostics, and medical device development. Using engineered microenvironments in combination with live cell imaging approaches, we are also studying the interplay between mechanical and biochemical signaling in the regulation of cell function and fate decisions that are essential for tissue repair and regeneration following injury, various developmental events, cancer metastasis, axonal growth and many other biological phenomena. The ultimate goal of our research is to better understand complex cellular behavior in response to microenvironmental cues in normal, aging and disease states, to gain new mechanistic and molecular insights into the control of cell-tissue structure and function, and to develop multiscale regenerative technologies for improving human health.

Micro and nanoengineering of the cell microenvironment
Our current research focuses on engineering combinatorial cellular microenvironment through use of variable nano-patterns, and soluble and matrix-bound cell guidance cues in a single experiment, which better mimics the in vivo microenvironment under physiological conditions. Using these tools, we strive to systematically characterize live cells to wide spectra of dynamically changing combination of mechanical and chemical stimuli (e.g. ECM proteins, topographic, growth factors and signal transduction pathway inhibitors). The proposed measurements are highly resolved in time and space, using a variety of live cell probes and highly defined extracellular conditions. Using cost-effective, scalable nanofabrication techniques, we are developing biomimetic nanotopographically-defined cell culture models and biomaterial tissue scaffolds. We aim to use these tools to gain new mechanistic insights into cell signaling and function, to design new therapies or diagnostic tests for cancer progression and cardiovascular diseases, and to establish organizing principles for development of precisely defined scaffolds for advanced tissue engineering applications.

Mechanical control of cell function and tissue morphogenesis
Mechanotransduction – from how cells sense mechanical forces in different tissues to how these mechanical forces are transduced into biochemical signals – is an essential biological process in development, normal physiology and disease. In this exciting area, we are particularly interested in investigating the role of mechano-biological processes associated with cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions (e.g. topography and rigidity of the extracellular matrix) in the regulation of collective and directed cell migration and tissue morphogenesis. Using a combination of various techniques, from molecular biology to nanotechnology and live cell imaging, for example, we have been accumulating interesting data suggesting that one of the most important factors distinguishing metastatic from non-metastatic cells could be their ability to collectively invade and migrate towards blood vessels by physically interacting with the surrounding extracellular matrices. By experimenting with the nanotopographically-defined cell adhesion substratum (i.e. quasi 3D cell culture system) and 3D natural/synthetic extracellular matrices, we are investigating the biophysical and signaling mechanisms of collective cell migration driven by the hypothesis that the physical interaction of migrating cells with the surrounding ECM has a crucial role in the collective guidance of cell migration in the context of cancer invasion and wound healing. To test this hypothesis, we recently developed a micro/nanofabricated collective migration assay as an enabling tool for analysis and control of cancer cell invasion and epithelial/endothelial wound healing in a high-throughput, controlled manner. Using these tools, we also explore the potential role of mechanical guidance in the regulation of collective cell migration and tissue morphogenesis under the presence/absence of growth factor-induced signals, and test their biomedical implication by screening cytoskeletal and signal transduction pathways.

Microenvironmental stem cell niche engineering and cardiovascular tissue engineering
With advances in nanofabrication and biomaterials, scaffolding materials can be designed to integrate biomimetic structural and mechanical cues present in the in vivo ECM environment. Based on ultrastructural analyses of the native heart tissue, we are developing a bio-inspired model cardiac tissue to better understand cardiac tissue structure-function relationships, and to seek applications in stem cell-based therapies for myocardial regeneration. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop nanopatterned functional cardiac patches for treating the damaged heart tissue (e.g. myocardial infarction). The working hypothesis is that cultivation of cardiac cells and/or stem cells on novel biomaterials scaffolds integrated with nanotopographic cues promotes biomimetic anisotropic assembly of uniformly contractile engineered muscle, while simultaneously enabling control over local cell alignment. We further envision that integrating the transplantable stem cells with the proposed nano-grafting techniques have therapeutic potential in repairing cardiac tissue damage and may prevent the onset of heart failure. In order to test these hypotheses, our research focuses on elucidating the relationships between scaffold-mediated nanostructural cues and tissue engineered cardiac graft contractility and function. In addition, the therapeutic potential of a nanopatterned cardiac stem cell graft will be studied in vitro and in vivo (implantation onto the left ventricle in an adult rat model of myocardial infarction). Tissue structure and function will be characterized at various hierarchical scales (molecular, structural, functional) and the obtained experimental data will be used to tailor the conditions and duration of cultivation, leading to engineering implantable grafts.

PhD (biomedical engineering), Johns Hopkins University, 2010
Research Scientist, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 2000-2005
Visiting Scientist, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich, Switzerland, 2003-2004
MS (mechanical engineering), Seoul National University, 2000
BS (mechanical engineering), Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), 1998
Post-doctoral fellow, Johns Hopkins University, 2010

2014-present: Editor: Theranostics
2014-present: Associate Editor: Biomedical Microdevices
2014-present: Editor: Scientific Reports
2013: BMES-CMBE Rising Star Award
2013: Springer Award for Most Downloaded and Most Cited Review Article (from Annals of Biomedical Engineering)
2013-present: Associate Editor: Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
2013: KSEA Young Investigator Award
2013-present: Associate Editor: IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience
2013: Outstanding Student Paper Award from ASME Global Congress on Nano Engineering for Medicine and Biology (Alex Jiao)
2013-present: Editor: International Journal of Nanomedicine
2013: American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant Award
2012: Senior Member, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
2011: Perkins Coie Award for Discovery
2011: Finalist in National Collegiate Invention Competition
2010: Harold M. Weintraub Award in the Biological Sciences
2009: Samsung HumanTech Thesis Award – Silver Prize.
2008: The First Baltimore Life Scientists Association (BLSA) Outstanding Scientist Award
2008-2010: American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
2007: The First Surface Engineering Best Paper Award, the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers.
2005: Distinguished Achievement Award of KIST (“KIST Award of the Month”)
2004: Prize for Excellent Researcher of the year, Future Technology Research Division, KIST
1999: Best Student Paper Award, the Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers
1999: Best Student Poster Paper Award, the Korean Society of Precision Engineers
1996: Hogil-Kim Memorial Fellow Exchange Student, University of Birmingham, UK

BIOEN 486/586: Tissue Engineering
BIOEN 498/599: Engineering Cell Biology

F. Pati, J. Jang, D.H. Ha, S.W. Kim, J.W. Rhie, J.H. Shim, D.H. Kim, and D.W. Cho, “Printing three dimensional tissue analog with decellularized extracellular matrix bioink,” Nature Communications, vol.5, no.3935, 2014.

A. Jiao, N. Trosper, H.S. Yang, J.S. Kim, J. Tsui, S. Frankel, C.E. Murry, and D.H. Kim#, “A thermoresponsive nanofabricated substratum for the engineering of three-dimensional tissues with layer-by-layer architectural control,” ACS Nano, vol. 8, pp. 4430-4439, 2014.

E.H. Ahn, Y.H. Kim, Kshitiz, S. An, S.W. Lee, M. Kwak, K.Y. Suh, D.H. Kim#, and A. Levchenko#, “Spatial control of adult stem cell fate using nanotopographic cues,” Biomaterials, vol. 35, pp. 2401–2410, 2014.

H.S. Yang, N. Ieronimakis, J. Tsui, H.N. Kim, K.Y. Suh, M. Reyes#, and D.H. Kim#, “Nanopatterned muscle cell patches for enhanced myogenesis and dystrophin expression in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy,” Biomaterials, vol. 35, pp. 1478-1486, 2014.

J. Tsui, W. H. Lee, S.H. Pun, J. K. Kim, and D.H. Kim, “Microfluidics-assisted drug carrier production and drug screening,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2013.

B. Lee, A. Jiao, S.J. Yu, J.B. You, D.H. Kim#, and S.K. Im#, “Initiated chemical vapor deposition of thermoresponsive poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) thin films for cell sheet engineering,” Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 9, pp. 7691-7698, 2013.

M. E. Hubbi, Kshitiz, D.M. Gilkes, S. Rey, C. C. Wong, W. Luo, D.H. Kim, C. V. Dang, A. Levchenko, and G. Semenza, “A non-transcriptional role for HIF-1α as a direct inhibitor of DNA replication,” Science Signaling, vol. 6, pp. ra10, 2013. (Featured as a Front Cover)

H. N. Kim, A. Jiao1, N. Hwang, M.S. Kim, D.H. Kang, D.H. Kim, and K. Suh, “Nanotopography-guided tissue engineering and regenerative medicine,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 65, pp. 536-558, 2013. (Featured as a Front Cover)

D.H. Kim, Kshitiz, R. R. Smith, P. Kim, E. H. Ahn, H.N. Kim, E Marban, K.Y. Suh, and A. Levchenko, “Nanopatterned cardiac cell patches promote stem cell niche formation and myocardial regeneration” Integrative Biology, Vol. 4, Issue 9,pp. 1019-1033, 2012 (Featured as a Cover Article)

Kshitiz, J.S. Park, P. Kim, W. Helen, A.J. Engler, A. Levchenko, and D.H. Kim#, “Control of stem cell fate and function by engineering physical microenvironments” Integrative Biology, Vol. 9, pp. 1008-1018, 2012.

D.H. Kim, P. Provenzano, C.L. Smith, and A. Levchenko, “Matrix nanotopography as regulator of cell function,” Journal of Cell Biology vol. 197 no. 3 pp. 351-360, 2012.

Kshitiz, M.E. Hubbi, E.H. Ahn, J. Downey, D.H. Kim, S. Rey, J. Afzal, A. Kundo, G.L. Semenza, R. M. Abraham, and A. Levchenko, “Matrix rigidity controls endothelial differentiation and morphogenesis of cardiac precursors,” Science Signaling Vol. 5, Issue. 227, ra41, 2012. (Featured as a Cover Article)

J. Kim*, D.H. Kim*, K.T. Lim, H. Seonwoo, S.H. Park, Y.R. Kim, Y.H. Choung, P.H. Choung, and J.H. Chung, “Charged nanomatrices as efficient platforms for modulating cell adhesion and shape,” Tissue Engineering Part C, vol. 18, pp. 913-923, 2012. (Featured as a Front Cover)

Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Paula Schiapparelli, Colette ap Rhys, Hugo Guerrero-Cazares, Christopher Smith, Deok-Ho Kim, Lyonell Kone, Harrison Farber, Danielle Y. Lee, Steven S. An, Andre Levchenko*, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa*, “Regulation of Brain Tumor Dispersal by NKCC1 Through a Novel Role in Focal Adhesion Regulation,” PLoS Biology, Vol. 10, Issue. 5, e1001320, 2012

J.K. Kim, I. Hwang, D.M. Britain, T.D. Chung, Y. Sun, and D.H. Kim#, “Microfluidic approaches for gene delivery and gene therapy,” Lab on a Chip, vol. 11, pp. 3941-3948, 2011.

E. Hur*, I.H. Yang*, D.H. Kim*, J. Byun, W.-L. Xu, S. Jilafu, R. Cheong, A. Levchenko, N. Thakor, and F. Zhou, “Engineering neuronal growth cone to promote axon regeneration over inhibitory molecules,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, vol. 108, pp. 5057-5062, 2011. (*equal contribution).

K. Gupta, D.H. Kim, D. Beebe, and A. Levchenko, “Micro and nanoengineering for stem cell biology: the promise with a caution,” Trends in Biotechnology, vol. 29, pp. 399-408, 2011.
D.H. Kim, H.J. Lee, Y.K. Lee, J.M. Nam, and A. Levchenko, “Biomimetic nanopatterns as enabling tools for analysis and control of live cells,” Advanced Materials, vol. 22, pp.4551-4566, 2010.

K. Gupta*, D.H. Kim*, D. Ellison, C. Smith, A. Kundu, K.Y. Suh, J. Tuan, and A. Levchenko, “Lab-on-a-chip devices as an emerging platform for stem cell biology,” Lab on a Chip, vol. 10, pp.2019-2031, 2010. (*equal contribution)

M.H. You, M.K. Kwak, D.H. Kim, K. Kim, A. Levchenko, D.Y. Kim, and K.Y. Suh, “Synergistically enhanced osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells by culture on nanostructured surfaces with induction media,” Biomacromolecules, vol. 11, pp.1856-1862, 2010.

J. Park*, D.H. Kim*, G. Kim, Y.H. Kim, E. Choi, and A. Levchenko, “Simple haptotactic gradient generation within a triangular microfluidic channel,” Lab on a Chip, vol. 10, pp.2130-2138, 2010. (*equal contribution)

D.H. Kim, E. Lipke, P. Kim, R. Cheong, S. Edmonds, M. Delannoy, K.Y. Suh, L.Tung, and A. Levchenko, “Nanoscale cues regulate the structure and function of macroscopic cardiac tissue constructs,” Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA, vol.107, pp. 565-570, 2010.

D.H. Kim, P. Wong, J.Y. Park, A. Levchenko, and Y. Sun, “Microengineered platforms for cell mechanobiology,” Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, vol. 11, pp.203-233, 2009.

D.H. Kim, C. Seo, K. Han, K. Kwon, A. Levchenko and K.Y. Suh, “Guided cell migration on microtextured substrates with variable local density and anisotropy,” Advanced Functional Materials, vol.19, pp.1579-1586, 2009.

D.H. Kim, K. Han, K. Gupta, K. Kwon, K.Y. Suh, and A. Levchenko, “Mechanosensitivity of fibroblast cell shape and movement to anisotropic substratum topography gradients,” Biomaterials, vol. 30, pp. 5433-5444, 2009.

J. Kim, M. Junkin, D.H. Kim, S.L. Kwon, Y.S. Shin, P. K. Wong, and B. K. Gale, “Applications, techniques, and microfluidic interfacing for nanoscale biosensing,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, vol. 7, pp. 149-167, 2009.

D.H. Kim, J.Y. Park, K.Y. Suh, P. Kim, S.K. Choi. S.C. Ryu, S.H. Park, S.H. Lee and B. Kim, “Fabrication of patterned micromuscles with high activity for powering biohybrid microdevices”, Sensors and Actuators B, vol. 117, pp.391-400, 2006.

D.H. Kim, P. Kim, I.S. Song, J.M. Cha, S.H. Lee, B. Kim, and K.Y. Suh, “Guided three-dimensional growth of functional cardiomyocytes on polyethylene glycol nanostructures,” Langmuir, vol.22, no.12, pp.5419-5426, 2006.

E.S. Yoon, R.A. Singh, H.S. Kong, B. Kim, D.H. Kim, H.E. Jeong, and K.Y. Suh, “Tribological properties of bio-mimetic nano-patterned polymeric surfaces on silicon wafer,” Tribology Letters, vol.21, pp.31-37, 034303, 2006.

D.H. Kim, C.N. Hwang, Y. Sun, B. Kim, S.H. Lee, and B. Nelson, “Mechanical analysis of chorion softening in pre-hatching stages of zebrafish embryos,” IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience, vol.5, no.2, pp.89-94, 2006.

P.N. Kim, D.H. Kim, B. Kim, S.K. Choi, S.H. Lee, A. Khademhosseini, R. Langer, and K.Y. Suh, “Fabrication of nanostructures of poly(ethylene glycol) for application to protein adsorption and cell adhesion,” Nanotechnology, vol.16, pp.2420-2426, 2005.

B. Kim, D.H. Kim, J.H. Jung, and J.O. Park, “A biomimetic undulatory tadpole robot using ionic polymer-metal composite actuators,” Smart Materials and Structures, vol. 14, pp.1579-1585, 2005.

D.H. Kim, M.G. Lee, B. Kim, and Y. Sun, “A superelastic alloy microgripper with embedded electromagnetic actuators and piezoelectric sensors: a numerical and experimental study,” Smart Materials and Structures, vol.14, pp.1265-1272, 2005.

D.H. Kim, Y. Sun, S. Yun, S.H. Lee, and B. Kim, “Investigating chorion softening of zebrafish embryos with a microrobotic force sensing system,” Journal of Biomechanics, vol.38, no.6, pp.1359-1363, 2005.

A. Haake, A. Neild, D.H. Kim, J.E. Ihm, Y. Sun, J. Dual, and B.K. Ju, “Manipulation of cells using an ultrasonic pressure field,” Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, vol.31, no.6, pp.857-864, 2005.

D.H. Kim, B. Kim, and H.J. Kang, “Development of a piezoelectric polymer-based sensorized microgripper for micromanipulation and microassembly”, Microsystem Technologies, vol.10, no.4, pp.275-280, 2004.


In the News

  • Image describing method to culture cells on TNFS then magnetically levitate the grown cell sheet

Deok-Ho Kim’s scaffold-free tissue engineering method featured in article

February 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on Deok-Ho Kim’s scaffold-free tissue engineering method featured in article

  • UW Bioengineering faculty Deok-Ho Kim in lab

Deok-Ho Kim receives $1.7M NIH R01 to develop tissue engineered human neuromuscular junctions for modeling axonal neuropathy

January 13th, 2017|Comments Off on Deok-Ho Kim receives $1.7M NIH R01 to develop tissue engineered human neuromuscular junctions for modeling axonal neuropathy

  • UW Bioengineering faculty Deok-Ho Kim and Charles Murry

Deok-Ho Kim and Charles Murry receive 2016 ITHS Collaboration Innovation Award

May 19th, 2016|Comments Off on Deok-Ho Kim and Charles Murry receive 2016 ITHS Collaboration Innovation Award

  • Deok-Ho Kim

Deok-Ho Kim appointed EMBS Representative to IEEE Nanotechnology Council

May 13th, 2016|Comments Off on Deok-Ho Kim appointed EMBS Representative to IEEE Nanotechnology Council

  • April cover of Biomaterials Science

Deok-Ho Kim’s “Self-assembling peptides for stem cell and tissue engineering” featured on Biomaterials Science cover

April 27th, 2016|Comments Off on Deok-Ho Kim’s “Self-assembling peptides for stem cell and tissue engineering” featured on Biomaterials Science cover

  • Illustration of myoblasts organizing into myotubes on gold-patterned substrate

Electroconductive nanopatterned substrates enhance myongenic differentiation and maturation

January 28th, 2016|Comments Off on Electroconductive nanopatterned substrates enhance myongenic differentiation and maturation