Dr. Hideaki Tsutsui


I was born in Tokyo and raised in Tsukuba Science City, home of Japan’s leading research institutes such as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). This, however, doesn’t mean I was a “whiz kid,” and I mostly spent my after-school hours playing baseball, soccer, and tennis with friends in school teams. My passion for science and technology started during my undergraduate study at the University of Tokyo in Japan. I spent my senior year as an undergraduate researcher in the research lab led by Professors Nobuhide Kasagi and Yuji Suzuki, and developed miniature electrostrictive polymer actuators for flow control as a part of my undergraduate thesis. After earning B.S., I pursued graduate-level education at University of California , San Diego (UCSD) to study numerical simulations and advanced fluid mechanics. There I worked with Professors Keiko K. Nomura and James W. Rottman and studied instabilities of a pair of counter-rotating vortices in a stratified flow using direct numerical simulations. In Summer 2002, I had an opportunity to attend a small conference of micro/nano science at Berkeley, California, which really intrigued me into this emerging field. After earning a M.S. degree from UCSD the following year, I moved to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study biomedical micro/nano devices. Under the guidance of Professor Chih-Ming Ho, I developed microdevices and methods to support stem cell research. I received Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in November 2009 and now work as a postdoctoral scholar in Professor Ho’s research group.

Research Intereststop

My research interests pertain to the field of stem cell-based regenerative medicine. Human pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), hold promises as a source of specialized cells for regenerative medicine. One of the key challenges is to identify extracellular conditions, including chemical and physical cues, which lead to desired behavior of the stem cells such as maintenance of an undifferentiated state and differentiation into a specific phenotype. During my Ph.D. study, in collaboration with Prof. Hong Wu’s group in Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, I successfully developed a clinically enabling, defined culture system for long-term maintenance of hESCs and hiPSCs, by optimizing combinations of multiple small molecule inhibitors of key signaling pathways using an engineering feedback control scheme. In addition, I co-developed supporting biomedical microdevices, including electrokinetically activated cell microarrays, cell/cell cluster sorters, and micro deionizers, for potentially facilitating various aspects of stem cell research such as high-throughput screening of extracellular cues and/or embryoid body-mediated differentiation. Currently as a postdoctoral scholar, I am working on two exciting projects: i) development of fully synthetic substrates and molecular components for human pluripotent stem cell maintenance, and ii) development of an engineered culture system for improving pancreatic beta-cell differentiation of hESCs. My future goal is to establish a research program that will develop novel engineered tools and methods of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering to treat degenerative diseases.


University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 2003–2009
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Major: Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems/Nanotechnology
Advisor: Chih-Ming Ho, Ph.D.
Thesis: “Engineering Defined Embryonic Stem Cell Culture through Feedback System Control”

University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, 2001–2003
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Major: Fluid Mechanics
Advisors: Keiko Nomura, Ph.D. & James Rottman, Ph.D.
Thesis: “Evolution of a Counter-Rotating Vortex Pair in a Stably Stratified Fluid”

University of Tokyo, Japan, 1997–2001
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Advisors: Nobuhide Kasagi, D-Eng & Yuji Suzuki, D-Eng
Thesis: “Development of Electrostrictive Polymer Actuators for Feedback Control of Wall Turbulent Flows”

Work Experiencetop

Research Experience:

Postdoctoral Researcher (2009 – Present)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles
• Developing synthetic substrates and molecular components for human embryonic stem cell maintenance
• Developing engineered methods for directed pancreatic differentiation

Graduate Student Researcher (2004 – 2009)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles
• Developed a chemically defined culture for human embryonic stem cells through a closed-loop optimization method
• Developed microfluidic systems to pattern and assemble mouse and human embryonic stem cells
• Co-invented a photopatternable deionizing matrix and developed a microfluidic deionizer

Graduate Student Researcher (2002 – 2003)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California,San Diego
• Investigated decay mechanisms of a counter-rotating vortex pair in a stratified fluid by direct numerical simulations

Undergraduate Student Researcher (2000 – 2001)
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Tokyo, Japan
• Developed and characterized miniature silicone actuators for controlling wall turbulent flows

Teaching Experience:

Mentor (2010 – 2011)
Bioengineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles
BE182B & BE182C Bioengineering Capstone Design
• Hosted a group of six undergraduate students and supervised their senior design project, where they developed and characterized new biomaterials through self-assembly of small molecules
• Weekly activities included a two-hour project planning and discussion session, and two four-hour laboratory experiment sessions
The group won the Best Poster Award at UCLA Bioengineering Design Symposium

Guest Lecturer (2010)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles
MAE284, Sensors and Actuators
• Lectured on fundamentals and applications of actuators and graded homework and exams
• Covered topics include electrostatic actuators, magnetic actuators, thermal actuators, and microfluidic particle sorting devices based on non-inertial forces

Teaching Assistant (2003)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, San Diego
MAE101A, Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
• Hosted weekly discussion sessions, where I reviewed basic principles covered during the lecture and went over practice problems related to the homework and exams
• Covered topics include fluid statics and kinematics, integral and differential forms of the conservation laws for mass, momentum and energy, Bernoulli equation, potential flows, and dimensional analysis and similitude


Scientific Journal Articles:
1. Valamehr, B., Tsutsui, H., Ho, C.M., and Wu, H., 2011. (submitted).

2. Wong, I., Wei, F., Hecht, A., Tsutsui H., and Ho, C.M., 2011. (submitted).

3. Kwong, C.C., Tsutsui, H., and Ho, C.M., 2011. (under preparation).

4. Tsutsui, H.*, Valamehr, B.*, Hindoyan, A., Qiao, R., Ding, X., Guo, S., Witte, O.N., Liu, X., Ho, C.M., and Wu, H. “An Optimized Small Molecule Inhibitor Cocktail Supports Long-term Maintenance of Human Embryonic Stem Cells,” Nature Communications, 2:167, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1165, 2011.

5. Tsutsui, H., Yu, E., Marquina, S., Valamehr, B., Wong, I., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Efficient Dielectrophoretic Patterning of Embryonic Stem Cells in Energy Landscapes Defined by Hydrogel Geometries,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 38, pp. 3777-3788, 2010.

6. Lillehoj, P.B., Tsutsui, H., Valamehr, B., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Continuous Sorting of Heterogeneous-Sized Embryoid Bodies,” Lab on a Chip, Vol. 10, pp. 1678–1682, 2010.

7. Tsutsui, H., and Ho, C.M., “Cell Separation by Non-Inertial Force Fields in Microfluidic Systems,” Mechanics Research Communications, Vol. 36, pp. 92-103, 2009.

8. Nomura, K.K., Tsutsui, H., Mahoney, D., and Rottman, J.W., “Short-Wave Instability and Subsequent Decay of a Vortex Pair in a Stratified Fluid”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 553, pp. 283-322, 2006.

* The authors contributed equally.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations:
1. Tsutsui, H., Valamehr, B., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Stochastic Optimization of Small Molecule Inhibitor Cocktails for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Culture,” BMES 2009 Annual Fall Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 7 – 10, 2009.

2. Tsutsui, H., Yu, E., Marquina S., and Ho, C.M., “Dielectrophoretic Patterning and Assembly of Mammalian Cells Using Inert Microstructure Templates,” BMES 2009 Annual Fall Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 7 – 10, 2009.

3. Lillehoj, P., Li, N., Tsutsui, H., and Ho, C.M., “A Compact Microfluidic Continuous Flow Separator for Particle and Cell Sorting,” Proceedings of the 21st Annual IEEE International Conference on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS’08), pp. 292 – 295, Tucson, AZ, January 13 -17, 2008, pp.292-295.

4. Tsutsui, H., Valamehr, B., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Development of Embryoid Body Array toward Systematic Study of Stem Cell Differentiation,” BMES 2007 Annual Fall Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, September 26 – 29, 2007

5. Tsutsui, H., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Stable Poly(ethylene glycol) Microwell Arrays for Long-Term Cell Patterning”, the 10th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (µTAS2006), Tokyo, Japan, November 5-9, 2006, pp. 242-244. 6. Tsutsui, H., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., “Directed Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells in Patterned Microchannels”, The International Conference on Bio-Nano-Informatics (BNI) Fusion, Marina del Rey, USA, July 2005.

7. Nomura, K.K., Tsutsui, H., Mahoney, D., Crockett, J., and Rottman, J.W., “Evolution of a Counter-Rotating Vortex Pair in a Stably Stratified Fluid”, Proc. of 3rd International Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena, Sendai, June, 2003. pp. 769-774.

8. Nomura, K.K., Mahoney, D., Tsutsui, H., Crockett, J., and Rottman, J.W., “Effects of Stable Stratification on the Short Wave Instability in a Vortex Pair”, Bull. Am. Phys. Soc., Vol. 46, No. 10, 2002.

9. Tsutsui, H., Suzuki, Y., and Kasagi, N., “Development of Electrostrictive Polymer Actuators for Active Control of Turbulence”, Proc. Meeting of Japan Society of Fluid Mechanics, July-August, 2001, pp.441-442.

Contact Infotop

Mailing Address:
44-121 Engineering IV
420 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Phone: 310-825-8275
Fax: 310-825-1350
Email: htsutsui at ucla.edu