Nicholas Kurniawan is an Assistant Professor in the Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology group. His research focuses on understanding why and how cells behave the way they do in different physical environments. To answer this question, he creates biomimetic cellular environments at multiple scales—from 2D micropatterns to 3D extracellular matrices and bioreactors—where every physical and mechanical cues to the cells can be precisely controlled. These in vitro platforms enable him to systematically break down the origins of basic cellular behavior, such as orientation, migration, and differentiation. The overarching goal is to use the obtained insights to direct cell response in vivo, for example to promote tissue regeneration or to slow down disease progression. Nicholas’s research is highly interdisciplinary, encompassing biophysics, cell biology, protein polymers, biomechanics, and soft matter.
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