Honors & Awards

  • Dean Award (Top 10% Outstanding students), College of Science, National Taiwan University (2017)
  • 45th International Chemistry Olympiad Gold Prize, Russia (2013)

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., National Taiwan University, Chemistry (2017)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Nanoscale Surface Topography Reduces Focal Adhesions and Cell Stiffness by Enhancing Integrin Endocytosis. Nano letters Li, X., Klausen, L. H., Zhang, W., Jahed, Z., Tsai, C., Li, T. L., Cui, B. 2021


    Both substrate stiffness and surface topography regulate cell behavior through mechanotransduction signaling pathways. Such intertwined effects suggest that engineered surface topographies might substitute or cancel the effects of substrate stiffness in biomedical applications. However, the mechanisms by which cells recognize topographical features are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that the presence of nanotopography drastically alters cell behavior such that neurons and stem cells cultured on rigid glass substrates behave as if they were on soft hydrogels. With atomic force microscopy, we show that rigid nanotopography resembles the effects of soft hydrogels in reducing cell stiffness and membrane tension. Further, we reveal that nanotopography reduces focal adhesions and cell stiffness by enhancing the endocytosis and the subsequent removal of integrin receptors. This mechanistic understanding will support the rational design of nanotopography that directs cells on rigid materials to behave as if they were on soft ones.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c01934

    View details for PubMedID 34346220

  • Exploring Cell Surface-Nanopillar Interactions with 3D Super-Resolution Microscopy. ACS nano Roy, A. R., Zhang, W., Jahed, Z., Tsai, C. T., Cui, B., Moerner, W. E. 2021


    Plasma membrane topography has been shown to strongly influence the behavior of many cellular processes such as clathrin-mediated endocytosis, actin rearrangements, and others. Recent studies have used three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures such as nanopillars to imprint well-defined membrane curvatures (the "nano-bio interface"). In these studies, proteins and their interactions were probed by two-dimensional fluorescence microscopy. However, the low resolution and limited axial detail of such methods are not optimal to determine the relative spatial position and distribution of proteins along a 100 nm-diameter object, which is below the optical diffraction limit. Here, we introduce a general method to explore the nanoscale distribution of proteins at the nano-bio interface with 10-20 nm precision using 3D single-molecule super-resolution (SR) localization microscopy. This is achieved by combining a silicone-oil immersion objective and 3D double-helix point spread function microscopy. We carefully adjust the objective to minimize spherical aberrations between quartz nanopillars and the cell. To validate the 3D SR method, we imaged the 3D shape of surface-labeled nanopillars and compared the results with electron microscopy measurements. Turning to transmembrane-anchored labels in cells, the high quality 3D SR reconstructions reveal the membrane tightly wrapping around the nanopillars. Interestingly, the cytoplasmic protein AP-2 involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis accumulates along the nanopillar above a specific threshold of 1/R (the reciprocal of the radius) membrane curvature. Finally, we observe that AP-2 and actin preferentially accumulate at positive Gaussian curvature near the pillar caps. Our results establish a general method to investigate the nanoscale distribution of proteins at the nano-bio interface using 3D SR microscopy.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.1c05313

    View details for PubMedID 34582687

  • Quantitative Nano-Platforms for Interrogation of Curvature Sensitive Proteins Tsai, C. CELL PRESS. 2020: 249A–250A