A headshot photo of Ming Pei.

Ming Pei, MD, PhD


Contact Information

PO Box 9196
5406 HSS
Morgantown, WV 26506


  • Department of Human Performance - Division of Exercise Physiology
  • WVU Cancer Institute
  • Department of Orthopaedics

Graduate Training

  • Beijing Medical University, PhD, 1999
  • Xuzhou Medical College, MD, 1991


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Cambridge, MA (1999 - 2002)
  • Research Fellow, Department of Orthopaedics, Brown. University, Providence, RI (2002 - 2005)

Research Interests

Our lab focuses on tissue regeneration and tissue repair using cutting-edge tissue engineering and stem cell strategies. Currently, our tissues of interest include articular cartilage, bone, intervertebral disc, and meniscus. Engineering a tissue construct is initiated by seeding appropriate cells on biodegradable and biocompatible scaffolds. This step is followed by incubation in an environment with physical and chemical signals (imitating in vivo tissue regeneration and development) to stimulate construct differentiation into premature tissue for implantation.

Adult stem cells, such as synovium-derived stem cells (SDSCs), bone marrow derived stem cells (BMSCs), and adipose stem cells (ASCs), have been demonstrated to play a key role in tissue engineering and regeneration. Adult stem cells have proliferation and multilineage differentiation capacities; however, traditional in vitro monolayer culture (2D) makes cells undergo an 'aging' process in which their morphology changes and their proliferative capacity decreases. It is believed that culturing conditions for adult stem cells need to be improved so that adult stem cells can maintain their stemness over time; this is one of the major challenges to be overcome for the advancement of regenerative medicine.

Our lab developed a 3D nanostructured expansion system (in vitro stem cell niche) using extracellular matrix (ECM) deposited by adult stem cells. Stem cells expanded on ECM exhibited enhanced proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation capacities. Interestingly, this 3D expansion system also works for primary cells, such as articular chondrocytes and nucleus pulposus cells. Understanding the underlying mechanism and identifying the key component(s) responsible for this rejuvenation effect is important for this technique to be applicable in clinical regenerative medicine. Despite the fact that many mysteries still need to be solved, in vitro reconstruction of the stem cell niche may play a critical role in the next generation of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.


Recent Publications in Refereed Journals

  1. Pei M, Pei YA, Zhou S, Mikaeiliagah E, Erickson C, Giertych B, Akhter H, Wang L, Stewart A, Parenti J, Wang B, Wen S, Sim S, Quenneville E, Hansen KC, Frisch S, Hu G. Matrix from urine stem cells boosts tissue-specific stem cell mediated functional cartilage reconstruction. Bioactive Materials. 2023 May;23:353-367. Online ahead of print.
  2. Pei YA, Chen S, Pei M. The essential anti-angiogenic strategies in cartilage engineering and osteoarthritic cartilage repair. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Jan 14;79(1):71. PMID: 35029764
  3. Liu C, Pei M, Li Q, Zhang Y. Decellularized extracellular matrix mediates tissue construction and regeneration. Front Med. 2022 Feb;16(1):56-82. PMID: 34962624
  4. Wang Y, Pei YA, Sun Y, Zhou S, Zhang XB, Pei M. Stem cells immortalized by hTERT perform differently from those immortalized by SV40LT in proliferation, differentiation, and reconstruction of matrix microenvironment. Acta Biomater. 2021 Dec;136:184-198. PMID: 34551328
  5. Gao G, Chen S, Pei YA, Pei M. Impact of perlecan, a core component of basement membrane, on regeneration of cartilaginous tissues. Acta Biomater. 2021 Nov;135:13-26. PMID: 34454085
  6. Zhou S, Chen S, Pei YA, Pei M. Nidogen: A matrix protein with potential roles in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. Genes & Diseases. 2022 May;9(3):398-609.
  7. Pei YA, Dong Y, He TC, Li WJ, Toh WS, Pei M. Editorial: Extracellular vesicle treatment, epigenetic modification and cell reprogramming to promote bone and cartilage regeneration. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2021 Apr 21;9:678014. PMID: 33968918
  8. Wang Y, Hu G, Hill RC, Dzieciatkowska M, Hansen KC, Zhang XB, Yan Z, Pei M. Matrix reverses immortalization-mediated stem cell fate determination. Biomaterials. 2021 Jan;265:120387. PMID: 32987274
  9. Li T, Chen S, Pei M. Contribution of neural crest-derived stem cells and nasal chondrocytes to articular cartilage regeneration. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Dec;77(23):4847-4859. PMID: 32504256
  10. Wang T, Hill RC, Dzieciatkowska M, Zhu L, Infante AM, Hu G, Hansen KC, Pei M. Site-dependent lineage preference of adipose stem cells. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 Apr 15;8:237. PMID: 32351957
View More Publications