Programme Leader


Lee Eng Hin
Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Emeritus Consultant, Division of Paediatric Orthopaedics National University Hospital
Senior Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Programme Leader, NUS Tissue Engineering Program (NUSTEP)
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NUHS Tower Block, Level 11, 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119288
Tel: +65 6772 4321


  • MD (University of Western Ontario, Canada) 1973
  • FRCS (C) Orthopaedic Surgery, Canada 1982
  • FAMS (Orthopaedics), Singapore 1984
  • FRCS(Edin) Ad Hominem 2000
  • FRCS(Glas) Ad Eundem 2002

Major Research Interests

Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering – Platform technologies

  • Stem cell biology: characterization, differentiation and expansion of stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)
  • Biomaterials: biodegradable scaffolds for hard and soft tissues
  • Matrix biology and biomolecules

Translational research

  • Strategies to enhance chondrogenesis
  • Repair and regeneration of physis
  • Repair and regeneration of articular cartilage
  • Tissue engineer ligaments and tendons

Selected Research Projects

  • Optimisation of chondrogenesis by manipulation of microenvironmental cues in the extracellular matrix, surface topography and stiffness of biomaterials, and the use of electromagnetic and mechanical stimulation.
  • Studying chondrogenesis in the growth plate and modelling normal and abnormal physeal growth and repair
  • Study of the early molecular basis of physeal injury and prevention of growth arrest by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokine activity.

Recent Publications

  1. Toh WS, Spector M, Lee EH, Cao T. Biomaterial-Mediated Delivery of Microenvironmental Cues for Repair and Regeneration of Articular Cartilage
    Mol. Pharmaceutics, 2011, 8 (4): 994–1001
  2. Liu TM, Guo XM, Tan HS, Hui JHP, Lim B, Lee EH. Zinc-finger protein 145, acting as an upstream regulator of SOX9, improves the differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage regeneration and repair Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2011; 63 (9): 2711-2720
  3. Yang Z, Schmitt JF and Lee EH. Immunohistochemical Analysis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Differentiating into Chondrogenic, Osteogenic and Adipogenic Lineages. Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press, 2011; 98:353-6643.
  4. Lee EH. Research Integrity Challenges – a Singapore perspective. Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. 2011. Pages 21-24. Editors: Tony Mayer and Nicholas Steneck. Publishers: World Scientific Publishing
  5. Knoppers BM, Isasi R, Benvenisty N, Kim OJ, Lomax J, Morris C, Murray TH, Lee EH, Perry M, Richardson G, Sipp D, Tanner K, Wahlström J, de Wert G, Zeng F. Publishing SNP genotypes of human embryonic stem cell lines: policy statement of the international stem cell forum ethics working party. Stem Cell Reviews. 7(3): 482-4 (2011)
  6. Yang Z, Wu YN, Li C, Zhang TT, Zou Y, Hui JHP, Ge ZG, and Lee EH Improved Mesenchymal Stem Cells Attachment and In Vitro Cartilage Tissue Formation on Chitosan-Modified Poly(l-Lactide-co-Epsilon-Caprolactone) Scaffold Tissue Engineering Part A. February 2012, 18(3-4): 242-251. doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2011.0315.
  7. Yang Z, Zou Y, Guo XM, Tan HS, Denslin V, Yeow CH, Ren XF, Liu TM, Hui JH, Lee EH Temporal Activation of ß-Catenin Signaling in the Chondrogenic Process of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Affects the Phenotype of the Cartilage Generated. Stem Cells Dev. (2012) 21(11): 1966-1976
  8. Schmitt JF, See KH, Yang Z, Hui JHP, Lee EH. Sequential Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an Agarose Scaffold Promotes a Physis-Like Zonal Alignment of Chondrocytes. J Orthoped Research. Published online in Wiley Online Library ( DOI 10.1002/jor.22123, 1-7, April 2012
  9. Isasi R, Knoppers BM, Andrews PW, Bredenoord A, Colman A, Lee EH, Hull S, Kim OJ, Lomax G, Morris C, Sipp D, Stacey G, Wahlstrom J, Zeng F
    Disclosure and management of research findings in stem cell research and banking: policy statement. Regen. Med. (2012) 7(3), 439–448
  10. Liu TM, Ng WM, Tan HS, Vinitha D, Yang Z, Fan JB, Zou Y, Hui JHP, Lee EH, and Lim B. Molecular Basis of Immortalization of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Combination of p53 Knockdown and Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Overexpression. Stem Cells and Development; 22(2): 268-278. 2013. Online ahead of print: Aug 21, 2012
  11. Liu TM & Lee EH. Transcriptional Regulatory Cascades in Runx2-Dependent Bone Development. Tissue Engineering B; On-line ahead of print, Dec 28, 2012
  12. He M, Gan AW, Lim AYT, Goh JCH, Hui J, Lee EH & Chong KSA
    The effect of fibrin glue on tendon healing and adhesion formation in a rabbit model of flexor tendon injury and repair. J Plast Surg Hand Surg 47(6): 509-512, 2013
  13. Goyal D, Keyhani S, Lee EH, Hui JHP, Evidence-Based Status of Microfracture Technique: A Systematic Review of Level I and II Studies . Arthroscopy; 29(9): 1579-1588, 2013
  14. Goyal D, Goyal A, Keyhani S, Lee EH, Hui JHP; Evidence-Based Status of Second- and Third-Generation Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation Over First Generation: A Systematic Review of Level I and II Studies. Arthroscopy; 29(11): 1872-1878, 2013
  15. Wong KL, Lee KB, Tai BC, Law P, Lee EH, Hui JH. Injectable Cultured Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Varus Knees With Cartilage Defects Undergoing High Tibial Osteotomy: A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial With 2 Years’ Follow-up. Arthroscopy; 29(12):2020-8, 2013
  16. Goyal D, Keyhani S, Goyal A, Lee EH, Hui JHP, Vaziri AS
    Evidence-Based Status of Osteochondral Cylinder Transfer Techniques: A Systematic Review of Level I and II Studies. Arthroscopy; 30 (4): 497-505, 2014
  17. Raghothaman D, Leong MF, Lim TC, Toh JK, Wan AC, Yang Z, Lee EH. Engineering cell matrix interactions in assembled polyelectrolyte fiber hydrogels for mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis. Biomaterials. 2014 Mar;35(9):2607-16.
  18. Wu YN, Law JB, He AY, Low HY, Hui JH, Lim CT, Yang Z, Lee EH
    Substrate topography determines the fate of chondrogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells resulting in specific cartilage phenotype formation
    Nanomedicine Apr 22, 2014. pii: S1549-9634(14)00185-3. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2014.04.002. [Epub ahead of print]
  19. Zhang J, Wu Y, Thote T, Lee EH, Ge Z, Yang Z. The influence of scaffold microstructure on chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
    Biomed Mater. 2014 Jun;9(3):035011.
  20. Dartnell J, Lee EH. “Stem cell therapy in cerebral palsy: current evidence.” Current Orthopaedic Practice. 2015; 26 (1), 15 – 20. doi: 0.1097/BCO.0000000000000188
  21. Wu Y, Wen F, Gouk SS, Lee EH, Kuleshova LL. Cryopreservation Strategy for “Tissue Engineering Constructs consisting of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Hydrogel Biomaterials.” CryoLetters. 2015; 36 (5), 325-335
  22. Liu, TM, Lee, EH, Lim, B, Ng, SC. “Concise Review: Balancing Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation with PLZF”.
    Stem Cells: 2016; 34: 277-28, online version:
  23. Tay LM, Wiraja C, Yeo D, Wu Y, Yang Z, Chuah YJ, Lee EH, Kang Y, and Xu C. Non-invasive Monitoring of 3D Chondrogenic Constructs using Molecular Beacon Nanosensors. Tissue Eng Part C: Methods. November 2016, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/ten.TEC.2016.0320.
  24. Wu Y, Yang Z, Law JBK, He AY, Abbas AA, Denslin V, Kamarul T, Hui JHP and Lee EH. The Combined Effect of Substrate Stiffness and Surface Topography on Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Tissue Eng Part A. Dec 2016 (ahead of print). doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2016.0123