Min Lee, Ph.D.
(310) 825-6674
(310) 825-6345
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668
Office:  23-088F


Min Lee, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Section of Biomaterials Science in the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry. His primary research area is to design and fabricate biomimetic polymer systems for tissue regeneration and drug delivery applications, particularly focusing on orthobiologics, customized scaffolds, injectable hydrogels, and controlled release.

Educational & Professional Background

  • B.S., Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Materials Science and Engineering, 1997

  • M.S., Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Materials Science and Engineering, 1999

  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, CA, Biomedical Engineering, 2007

Research & Interests

  • Biomaterials processing and characterization

  • Computer-aided tissue engineering (CATE)

  • Bone regeneration with biomimetic apatites and novel osteogenic factors

  • Cartilage regeneration with injectable systems

  • Intestinal tissue engineering

  • Protein and non-viral gene delivery systems for complex tissue regeneration

  • Targeted nanoparticles for anti-cancer drug delivery

Research Description

Research in the Lee group focuses on the development of biomimetic polymer systems for tissue regeneration and drug delivery applications. His research interests are:

i) Customized biomimetic scaffolds. Dr. Lee is developing a novel computer-designed, biomimetic scaffolding system to maximize bone regeneration. This system consists of three-dimensional polymer scaffolds with well-defined geometries on the macro- and micro-scales created from a printing technique in conjunction with biomimetic processing strategy to confer bone mineral-mimicking apatite microenvironment and osteogenic signaling molecules.

ii) Controlled release. Direct therapeutic applications of drug molecules require high doses and repeated injections of protein drugs due to their rapid degradation in the body. Dr. Lee’s research interests are in the development of injectable/implantable systems for the delivery of growth factors in a sustained, combinatorial, or sequential manner. He is currently applying these systems to engineer a variety of tissue types, including bone, cartilage, smooth muscle, and maxillofacial tissues.

iii) Photopolymerizable hydrogel systems. Dr. Lee is developing injectable formulations of cells and bioactive molecules using photopolymerization techniques, which allow processing in situ at physiological conditions in a minimally invasive manner. This system is currently being tested in vitro and in animal models for the repair of cartilage defects.

Research Grants

NIH/NIDCR R21 DE021819, Principal Investigator, 2012–2014 
• Biomimetic Scaffold Delivering Osteogenic Molecules for Alveolar Bone Engineering

NIH/NIAMS R01 AR060213, Principal Investigator, 2011–2016 
• Combined Effect of Noggin Suppression and Nell-1 on Bone Regeneration

IADR/Academy of Osseointegration Innovation in Implant Sciences Award, Principal Investigator, 2011–2013
• A Novel Computer-Designed, Biomimetic Scaffold for Bone Regeneration

NIH/NIDDK R01 DK083319, James Dunn (PI), Min Lee (Co-Investigator), 2010–2013
• Intestinal Tissue Engineering

Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation Transdisciplinary Team Grant, Maie St. John (PI), Min Lee (Co-Investigator), 2010–2013
• Investigation of a Novel Apatite-coated PLGA Scaffold for Bone Formation and Regeneration

UC Discovery Grant Bio07-10677, Ben Wu (PI), Min Lee (Co-PI), 2008–2011
• Novel Growth Factor for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

UCLA Academic Senate Research Award, Principal Investigator, 2011–2012
• A Novel Injectable Hydrogel for Treatment of Cartilage Defects

Professional Memberships

  • 2014- Editorial Board Member, Journal of Biological Engineering

  • 2013- Editorial Board Member, Journal of Analytical & Molecular Techniques

  • 2010- Member, Academy of Osseointegration

  • 2010- Member, American Association for Dental Research

  • 2010- Member, International Association for Dental Research

  • 2010- Member, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • 2008- Member, Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society

  • 2007- Member, Society for Biomaterials

Representative Publications

  1. Lee J, Choi B, Wu B. Lee M. Customized biomimetic scaffolds created by indirect three-dimensional printing for tissue engineering. Biofabrication 5(4):045003, 2013. PMCID3852984

  2. Fan J, Park H, Tan S, Lee M. Enhanced osteogenesis of adipose derived stem cells with noggin suppression and delivery of BMP-2. PLoS One 8(8):e72474, 2013 PMCID3744499

  3. Park H, Choi B, Hu J, Lee M. Injectable chitosan hyaluronic acid hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia 91(1):4779-86, 2013.

  4. Hu J, Hou Y, Park H, Choi B, Hou S, Chung A, Lee M. Visible light crosslinkable chitosan hydrogels for tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia 8(5):1730-38, 2012.

  5. Lee M, Wu BM. Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds. Methods in Molecular Biology 868:257-67, 2012

Additional Information

Courses taught at UCLA
  • RFE102, Dental Materials (Course Chair)

  • RFE400, Advanced Materials and Biomechanics (Course Chair)

  • RFE104, Direct Restoration (Guest Lecturer)

  • RFE202, Direct Restoration (Guest Lecturer)

  • RFE207, Direct Restoration (Guest Lecturer)