• Welcome to The Sun Group

    A human being is like a delicate machine. From engineers’ perspective, we are curious about how this machine is built and how to fix it when it goes awry. Specifically, we are interested in how mechanical information, encoded in nano-scale molecules, guides micro-scale cells to assemble into mili-scale functional tissues and organs. We also develop tools that interact with biomolecules, cells and tissues for a range of applications from diagnostics of diseases to regenerative medicine.

  • Mechanobiology of stem cells

    We are interested in the mechanical regulation of stem cell fate, i.e., how stem cells respond to the rigidity of extracellular matrix, external forces, nanotopographical cues, geometric constraints, etc. We develop micro/nanoscale micromechanical tools to control these mechanical cues and combine with molecular and cell biology approaches to understand the mechanobiology.

  • Modeling development and diseases using pluripotent stem cells

    Pluripotent stem cells are powerful tools to understand the development processes and the progression of many diseases. We design and fabricate unique bioengineering tools and biomaterials to unleash the potential of stem cells. For example, synthetic substrates strongly promote motor neuron differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, which may be used to study and treat degenerative diseases like ALS.

  • Acoustic tweezing cytometry

    Acoustic tweezing cytometry (ATC) is a novel technology using ultrasound and lipid microbubbles to apply mechanical forces to cells through intergin-cytoskeleton network.

  • Integrated microengineering systems

    We make lab-on-a-chip type of devices to control cell microenviroment, apply mechanical and chemical stimulation, model the morphological and functional feature of tissues in vivo.


We are looking for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to join our lab! Please check the Employment page for details.

Recent publications

Yubing Sun, Yue Shao, Xufeng Xue, and Jianping Fu, Molecular and Cellular Mechanobiology (edited by Shu Chien, Adam J. Engler, and Yingxiao Wang), the American Physiological Society, 2015.

Contact Us

Yubing Sun, Ph.D.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
ELab 317, Amherst, MA 01002

ybsun AT umass.edu



Latest News

Tianfa passed his qualify exam

1/26/2018 Tianfa passed his qualify exam. Congratulations!

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Regeneron Science Research Competition

Sophia Fang has been named as one the 300 Scholars in the nation in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school senior, based on her independent research on mesenchymal stem cells in our lab. Congratulations! Sophia has been accepted by MIT

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New publication

12/6/2017 Our collaborative work with Prof. Mingxu You has been accepted by JACS. This is an important first work in our effort to address intercellular mechanotransduction.

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BMES 2017

10/14/2017 Nader presented an oral talk at the BMES Annual Meeting 2017 in Phoenix AZ.

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