Prof. Dr. Guoping Chen is Group Leader of Research Center for Functional Materials, National Institute for Materials Science and Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tsukuba. His research interests include tissue engineering, polymeric scaffolds, biomimetic biomaterials and surface modification. He has authored more than 280 publications and given more than 100 plenary, keynote and invited lectures at conferences. He is Associate Editor of Journal of Materials Chemistry B, Senior Editorial Board Member of Exploration, Editorial Boards of Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers, Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Regenerative Biomaterials, Biomedical Materials and Bioactive Materials, and Advisory Board of Biomaterials Science. He has been selected Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry in 2015, Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2017 and Fellow of International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering in 2020.
Q: Could you briefly introduce your research?
A: My research focuses on the design and preparation of functional biomaterials and scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Polymeric porous scaffolds and their composites with functional nanoparticles, micro-patterned surfaces and biomimetic matrices are prepared and used for controlling cell functions and guiding new tissue regeneration.
Q: What kind of impact would you expect from your research work on biomaterials? How do you envision the future of biomaterials in medical applications?
A: My research may provide some fundamental information to elucidate the interaction between cells and their microenvironments and how the property of biomaterials affects cell functions, in particular, the differentiation of stem cells. The scaffolds may also be useful for regeneration of large and complex tissues and organs.
Q: What is the breakthrough in regenerative medicine in recent years? How do these advances affect the development of health sciences?
A: The breakthrough in regenerative medicine in recent years should be cell reprogramming and controlling differentiation of stem cells. The achievements may contribute to the treatment of intractable diseases and aging problem.
Q: What is your most exciting moment as a scientist?
A: The most exciting moment comes when I find a new phenomenon or prepare some new functional biomaterials.
Q: Who do you think has the greatest impact on your career? What motivates you all the time?
A: The greatest impact on my career is my parents. They always encouraged me to go ahead without fearing anything. They educated me to be a nice human being since my childhood.
Q: What are your expectations for Exploration to further prompt the development of related topics?
A: Exploration should attract more seminal research in each field. Impact factor is of course very important. Publication of innovative and seminal researches should give the journal a big impact in the future.
Q: Which kind of the manuscript would interest you most?
A: I am more interested in original research papers.
Q: How do you balance between work and life? What is your hobby?
A: If I have time, I like cooking because cooking is similar to doing chemical experiments. My hobby is jogging. I jog almost every day. During jogging, I can think some new ideas of my research.
Q: When do you enjoy your work most? Are there any interesting moments you can share with us?
A: I like to challenge myself to new things. I feel excited when I have an idea for new experiments or new biomaterials.
I have an experience on how to learn a lesson from failure many years ago. I may share it with young scientists. At that time, I immersed poly(lactide-co-glycolide) foam in simulated body fluid overnight because I wanted to deposit hydroxyapatite on the polymer foam to prepare scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Unfortunately, the polymers were completely dissolved in the solution although the pH of the solution was 7.4. The experiment failed. The reason is the accelerated degradation of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) foam in the solution. Later, I used the failure experience to design a condition to prepare autologous extracellular matrix scaffolds. The polymer foam was used as a template for deposition of autologous extracellular matrix during cell culture. Then, the polymer foam was selectively removed to leave the autologous extracellular matrix. Without the failure, I might have not thought to prepare the autologous extracellular matrix scaffolds.
Q: What do you think is the most important characteristics for a researcher? Could you give some advice for young researchers?
A: I think passion, imagination and diligence are very important for researchers. I like the quotation “If you can dream it, you can do it”. It is what I want to share with young researchers.
陈国平，日本国立材料研究所功能材料研究中心组长，筑波大学材料科学与工程学院教授。研究领域主要包括组织工程学、聚合物支架、仿生生物材料和表面修饰。陈国平教授在国际重要学术期刊上发表论文280多篇，受邀参加国际学术会议报告100多场。陈国平教授现任Journal of Materials Chemistry B期刊副主编，Exploration高级编委会成员，Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers, Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Regenerative Biomaterials, Biomedical Materials and Bioactive Materials等期刊编委，以及Biomaterials Science期刊顾问团成员。2015年被选为英国皇家化学会Fellow，2017年被选为美国医学和生物工程院Fellow，2020年被授予国际生物材料科学与工程学会联合会Fellow。