Interview with Ming Jie Tan, CSO, DeNova Sciences, Artificial (Asian) Skin

Ming Jie Tan co-found and assumed the role of Chief Scientific Officer at DeNova Sciences in 2014. He is passionate about bridging the Gaps in the personal care industry after the bans of animal testing for cosmetics by directing DeNova to provide alternative methods that are more accurate and high reproducibility. He is a serial entrepreneur that accepts challenges in a bid to transform them to business opportunities. He nurtures and creates an environment to encourage learning and personal growth. Learning is continuous and never-ending.  Ming Jie (MJ) will be participating in the virtual 3DHEALS/NAMIC 2020 Summit on September 18th.

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

MJ: The first encounter with 3D printer was during Cellink Demo in NUS where the hydrogel-based matrix is made into shape. As I have been creating artificial skin using collagen, I have the thoughts of using them to replace the making of artificial skin and adding more structure variance to it.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in biofabrication?

MJ: The thoughts of creating more human resemblance skin and eventually different organs.

denova sciences team, making skin in lab

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in biofabrication?

MJ: The Ethos of the company – Replacing Animal Testing

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work? 

MJ: When a clinician is excited about a 3D print and finds it helpful, that’s very motivating for me.

When you see the final product become more real and similar to the one I had in mind. The Step by Step improvement spurs you on.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions? 

MJ: Biomaterial and engineering expertise, and of course funding. Collaborate and get hands-on.

NAMIC support is crucial in getting funding to kickstart prototype.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

MJ: Cost and Reproducibility for bioprinting. It’s the whole 3D bioprinting ecosystem where knowledge can be more readily shared.

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 

MJ: Granted fund for more R&D, having a knowledgeable AI Robot that know all question you posed to them and Time Reversal. HaHa!

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