Yupeng Chen Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics

Dr. Yupeng Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics in the Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital at Brown University. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University in China, and pursued his M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering and Chemistry at Brown University. In 2010, he joined Department of Orthopaedics in the Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital at Brown University as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2012, he was appointed as an Instructor and in 2014, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the department. Along Dr. Chen’s path from Chemistry, to Engineering and then to Clinical Science, he has a long-term interest in translating advances from basic science into clinical application. In particular, he focuses on developing nanomaterials and nanotechnology for novel therapeutics and diagnostics for cartilage and other musculoskeletal tissues.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

research overview

The overall goal of my research is to develop novel nanomaterials and nanotechnology for advanced therapy and diagnosis. In particular, I focus on three directions:

1) Nucleic acid delivery via a newly discovered vehicle, Nanopiece, for treatment of arthritis and other diseases;

2) Molecular diagnosis for non-invasive, real time gene detection in living systems;

3) Multi-functional biomimetic matrix for cartilage and bone tissue engineering.

research statement

Dr. Chen focuses on developing self-assembled Janus-Base nanotube, which is a novel family of biomimetic nanomaterials. Significantly different from conventional nanotubes (such as polymer or carbon nanotubes), Janus-Base nanotubes presented two unique properties: 1) biomimetic units derived from DNA base-pairs with a lysine side chain and 2) non-covalent architecture. Based on these properties, they were developed into a platform technology to deliver either small RNAs or large matrix proteins, named “Nanopieces” or “Nano-matrix”. This novel technology achieved creative smart delivery strategies. For example, the Nano-matrix can be injected as a liquid and then quickly solidify to localize and concentrate therapeutic proteins in the difficult-to-reach defects. In another example, the Nanopieces can assemble with siRNA as a delivery vehicle in the body fluid while simultaneously dissemble as soon as entering cells resulting in maximum efficacy and minimum toxicity. This technology has a great translational potential in nanomedicine and precise medicine for advanced therapeutics and diagnostics for cartilage and other musculoskeletal tissues. 

funded research

2013-2015 NIH/NCRR COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair, Pilot Project (P20RR024484)           
Role: pilot project PI

2014-2015 Collaborative Research Grant Awards, RI State Science and Technology Advisory Council
Role: co-PI

2014-2015 Dean's Emerging Areas of New Science (DEANS) Awards, Brown University
Role: multiple-PI

2015-2016 Medical Research Funds, Rhode Island Foundation           
Role: PI

2015-2017 NIH/NCRR COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair, Pilot Project (P20RR024484)           

Role: Major project PI

2016-2019 R03 (1R03AR069383-01) from NIAMS of NIH           
Role: PI