TOH Yi-Chin

  • National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) Professor

2008 Ph.D, NUS Graduate School of Integrative Sciences and Engineering, NUS
2001 B.Eng (Hon), Chemical Engineering, NUS

Research Interest

My research interest is to engineer biologically-meaningful tissue models that enable in vitro cell-based assays to be more predictive of human pathological conditions and drug responses so as to reduce current reliance on animal testing. The approach is to interface tissue engineering with microtechnologies, such as microfluidics and microarrays, to incorporate biological complexity into high throughput quantitative screening platforms. Tissue engineering enables the recapitulation of higher order tissue-level functions by controlling various physical and chemical cellular microenvironments, such as 3D architecture, extracellular matrix (ECM) and fluid-mediated mechanical forces. By miniaturising tissue engineered cellular constructs into high throughput screening platforms, we expect to capture more complex multicellular phenotypes and interactions to bridge between simplistic single cell-based assays and animal studies.

Research Projects

  • Mimicking multi-organ systemic interactions with modular microfluidic systems
  • Micropatterned neuroectoderm tissues for mimicking early neuro-development and pathogenesis
  • In vitro modeling of immune-mediated cytotoxic and drug responses
  • Micronevironmental control of human pluripotent stem cell fates


  • Principal Investigator, Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research and Technology (BIGHEART)
  • Principal Investigator, Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (SINAPSE)
  • Principal Investigator, NUS Tissue Engineering Programme (NUSTEP)

Selected Awards & Honours

  • National University of Singapore Research Scholarship
  • A*STAR Graduate Scholarship
  • A*STAR International Fellowship.

Professional service and membership

  • Executive committee member of Singapore Stem Cell Society (2016-2018)
  • Editorial board member of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X) (Oct 2017 – Sept 2019)
  • Co-chair of poster judging committee for The 22nd International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS) conference (2018)
  • Member of Bioengineering Society of Singapore (BES) (2015-current)
  • “Stem Cells and Organs-on-Chip” special symposium session organizer (ICBME, 2016)
  • Scientific reviewer for Biomaterials, Lab on a Chip, Biomicrofluidics, Bioengineering and Biotechnology, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Stem Cell International, Process Biochemistry

Selected Journal Publications

  1. Akshaya Srinivasan, Shu Yung Chang, Shipin Zhang, Wei Seong Toh, Yi-Chin Toh*, Substrate stiffness modulates the multipotency of neural crest derived human ectomesenchymal stem cells via CD44 mediated PDGFR signaling, 2017, Biomaterials, (under revision)
  2. Louis Jun Ye Ong, Anik Badhan Islam, Ramanuj DasGupta, Narayanan Gopalakkrishna Iyer, Hwa Liang Leo, Yi-Chin Toh*, A 3D Printed Microfluidic Perfusion Device for Multicellular Spheroid Cultures, 2017, Biofabrication, 9(4):045005 (IF: 5.24)
  3. Louis Jun Ye Ong, Lor Huai Chong, Lin Jin, Pawan Kumar Singh, Poh Seng Lee, Hanry Yu, Abhishek Ananthanarayanan, Hwa Liang Leo, Yi-Chin Toh*, A pump-free microfluidic 3D perfusion platform for the efficient differentiation of human hepatocyte-like cells, 2017, Bioengineering & Biotechnology, 114(10):2360-2370 (IF: 4.24)
  4. Yukti Choudhury#, Yi-Chin Toh#, Yinghua Qu, Jiangwa Xing, Jonathan Poh, Hui Shan Tan, Ravindran Kanesvaran, Hanry Yu, and Min-Han Tan, Patient-specific hepatocyte-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells model pazopanib-mediated hepatotoxicity. 2017, Scientific Reports  7, Article number: 41238  #co-first author (IF: 5.3)
  5. Tasnim, Farah; Toh, Yi-Chin; Qu, Yinghua; Li, Huan; Phan, Derek; Narmada, Balakrishnan Chakrapani; Ananthanarayanan, Abhishek ; Mittal, Nikhil; Meng, Ryan; Yu, Hanry, Functionally enhanced human stem cell derived hepatocytes in galactosylated cellulosic sponges for hepatotoxicity testing, 2016, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 13 (6), pp 1947–1957, doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.6b00119 (IF: 4.38)
  6. G. Sahni,J. Yuan, Y.C. Toh*. Stencil Micropatterning of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Probing Spatial Organization of Differentiation Fates, Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2016 Jun 17;(112). doi: 10.3791/54097 (IF:1.32)
  7. F. Tasnim, D. Phan, Y.C. Toh, H. Yu. Cost effective differentiation of hepatocyte-like cells from human pluripotent stem cells using small molecules. 2015, Biomaterials, 70:115-25 (IF: 8.3)
  8. J. Xing, Y.C Toh*, S. Xu, H. Yu. A method for human teratogen detection by geometrically confined cell differentiation and migration. 2015, Scientific Reports, 5, Article number: 10038 (IF: 5.07)
  9. Y.C. Toh*, J. Xing, Yu H. Modulation of integrin and E-cadherin-mediated adhesions to spatially control heterogeneity in human pluripotent stem cell differentiation. 2015, Biomaterials, 50: 87-97 (IF:8.3)
  10. C.G. Anene-Nzelu, K.Y. Peh, A. Fraiszudeen, Y.H. Han, S. H. Ng, H. Yu, Y.C. Toh*, H.L. Leo, A scalable method for aligning 3D micro-tissues in microfluidic chips, 2013, Lab on a Chip, 13 (20), 4124 – 4133


  • BN4301 Principles of Tissue Engineering
  • BN4403 Cellular Bioengineering
  • BN 5104 Quantitative Physiology Principles in Bioengineering
  • BN5203 Advanced Tissue Engineering