Dr. Sung Mun Lee
Prof. sung mun lee Associate Professor Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

Contact Information
sung.lee@ku.ac.ae +97123123945



Khalifa University – Department of Biomedical Engineering (June 2011 – Present)

Associate Professor (May 2018 – Present, Current Position)

Assistant Professor (June 2011 – May 2018)

Postdoc - Georgia Institute of Technology – Department of Biomedical Engineering (Jan. 2006 – June 2011)

Research Associate - University of Maryland (UMBC) – Department of Chemical Engineering (May 2005 – Dec. 2005)

Research Scientist - Eugene Science Inc. – Industry (Jan. 1999 - Jul. 1999) (Seoul, Korea)

  • Texas A&M University (Ph.D)
  • Seoul National University (M.Sc.)
  • Korea University (B.S.)

  • Biomedical Engineering Fundamentals (BMED351)
  • Biotransport Phenomena (BMED331)

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers
  • Healthcare Engineering Innovation Center

Research Interests
  • Strategic Design of Drug Delivery Systems
  • Development of Novel Biomaterials for Nanomedicine

Research Projects

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases such as diabetes.  ROS such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide are overproduced by activated macrophages.  As scavengers of ROS, enzymatic proteins such as catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) have a great therapeutic potential; however, in vivo application is limited especially when they are orally administered.  Although, the oral route is the most convenient for drug administration, therapeutic proteins are easily degraded in vivo by the harsh conditions of gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Zein nanoparticles can protect therapeutic proteins, catalase and SOD, from the harsh conditions of GI tract.  Folate-conjugated catalase or SOD in zein nanoparticles can target the activated macrophages and scavenge the ROS generated by macrophages in vitro.

In atherosclerosis, activated endothelial cells (EC) generate more reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory mediators that recruit monocytes to the vessel wall. Novel monocyte-based drug delivery systems encapsulating either catalase or tempol/tempo will scavenge ROS efficiently due to its target specificity to damaged EC.

Acute liver failure (ALF) is a major cause of death in the world and effective treatments are greatly needed.  Kupffer cells, resident macrophages of the liver, secrete inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α during ALF which cause massive necrosis of hepatocytes and small interfering RNA (siRNA) that can inhibit Kupffer cell activation have a great therapeutic potential.  In this report, we present that a polyketal microparticles deliver a TNF-α siRNA to macrophages and reduce the inflammatory response associated with ALF in vitro and in vivo, where free siRNA had no therapeutic effects due to its poor stability and inefficient cellular uptake.  Polyketal nanoparticles have the properties needed for treating acute liver failure such as targeting liver macrophages, fast drug release, low toxicity, and a long shelf life for clinical trials.

Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Mary Krystelle Catacutan Ph.D. Student
Nassra Al Neyadi Master Student
Rukshana Mohammed Ali Veettil Master Student
Additional Info


1)      Shanti, Aya; Al Adem, Kenana; Stefanini, Cesare; Lee, Sungmun, “Hydrogen phosphate selectively induces MDA MB 231 triple negative breast cancer cell death in vitro”, Scientific Reports, 12(1), 5333 (2022) 

2)      Islayem, Deema; Fakih, Fatima Ba; Lee, Sungmun, “Comparison of Colorimetric Methods to Detect Malondialdehyde, A Biomarker of Reactive Oxygen Species”, ChemistrySelect, 7(11), e202103627 (2022)

3)      Al Adem, Kenana; Shanti, Aya; Srivastava, Amit; Homouz, Dirar; Thomas, Sneha Ann; Khair, Mostafa; Stefanini, Cesare; Chan, Vincent; Kim, Tae-Yeon; Lee, Sungmun, “Linking Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes: Characterization and Inhibition of Cytotoxic Aβ and IAPP Hetero-Aggregates”, Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 9, 842582 (2022)

4)      Salih, Ahmed E; Shanti, Aya; Elsherif, Mohamed; Alam, Fahad; Lee, Sungmun; Polychronopoulou, Kyriaki; Almaskari, Fahad; AlSafar, Habiba; Yetisen, Ali K; Butt, Haider, “Silver Nanoparticle-Loaded Contact Lenses for Blue-Yellow Color Vision Deficiency”, Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science, 219(1), 2100294 (2022)

5)      Selwa Boularaoui, Aya Shanti, Michele Lanotte, Shaohong Luo, Sarah Bawazir, Sungmun Lee, Nicolas Christoforou, Kamran Khan, Cesare Stefanini, “Nanocomposite Conductive Bioinks based on Low Concentration GelMA and MXene Nanosheets/Gold Nanoparticles Providing Enhanced Printability of Functional Skeletal Muscle Tissues”, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 7(12), 5810-5822 (2021).

6)      Sangyoung Yoon, Andreas Schiffer, In Gwun Jang, Sungmun Lee & Tae-Yeon Kim, “Predictions of the elastic modulus of trabecular bone in the femoral head and the intertrochanter: a solitary wave-based approach”, Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 20, 1733-1749 (2021)

7)      Sungmun Lee, Aya Shanti, “Effect of exogenous pH on cell growth of breast cancer cells”, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(18), 9910 (2021)

8)      Alam, Fahad; Elsherif, Mohamed; AlQattan, Bader; Lee, Sungmun; Yetisen, Ali; Park, Seongjun; Butt, Haider, "3D Printed Contact Lenses", ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 7(2), 794-803 (2021)

9)      Nicholas Hallfors, Aya Shanti, Jiranuwat Sapudom, Jeremy Teo, Georg Petroianu, Sungmun Lee, Lourdes Planelles, and Cesare Stefanini “Multi-compartment lymph-node-on-a-chip enables measurement of immune cell motility in response to drugs”, Bioengineering, 8(2), 19 (2021)

10)  Tae-Yeon Kim, Sangyoung Yoon, Andreas Schiffer, In Gwun Jang, Sungmun Lee, “Site-Specific Quality Assessment of Trabecular Bone Using Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves”, European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, 127, 893-901 (2021)