School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Jinju Chen

Lecturer in Nano-biomechanics


Google Scholar Profile

Dr Chen joined Newcastle as a lecturer in Sept. 2011. Shortly after that, she was invited to visit NTU (Singapore) to lead a project on computational cell mechanics which led to a paper published in Journal of Biomechanics.  She resumed her teaching post at School of Mechanical & System Engineering in Jan 2012. She has 57 publications (41 journal papers+2 bookchapters+14 conference proceeding papers), with H-index of 17 and total citations over 870 (googlescholar).

After obtaining her BEng , she moved to Newcastle to do PhD sponsored by various scholarships (e.g. ORS, IRS). She completed Ph.D thesis within 2 years and 9 months in School of Chemical Engineering & Advanced Materials at Newcastle University.  Then she worked as a Post-doc research associate at Newcastle (Nano Lab) & London (Cell & Tissue Engineering Lab, QMUL). 

She has worked on mechanics of advanced materials such as energy related materials, biomaterials, soft and hard biological tissues, finite element simulation, nanomechanics, nanotribology,  and cell mechanics.  Her recent research interest is on mechanics of biofilms, biological modelling, rheology and microfluidics. 

She investigated the fracture and adhesion failure in ceramic coatings, creep in metallic coating, plastic deformation at submicro/nanoscale, viscoelastic behaviour of polymers, nonlinear elasticity in biomaterials etc. She is also very interested in fundamental nanoindentation mechanics, fracture mechanics and nonlinear elastic mechanics. 


 Recent  papers accepted in Biophysics or Biomechanics related aspects:

Pahala Gedara Jayathilake, Saikat Jana, Steve Rushton, David Swailes, Ben Bridgens, Tom Curtis, Jinju Chen, Extracellular polymeric substance production and aggregated bacteria colonization influence the competition of microbes in biofilms, Frontiers in Microbiology, accepted on 12 sept 2017

Pahala Gedara Jayathilake, Prashant Gupta, Bowen Li, Curtis Madsen, Oluwole Oyebamiji, Rebeca González-Cabaleiro, Steve Rushton, Ben Bridgens, David Swailes, Ben Allen, Steve McGough, Paolo Zuliani, Irina Dana Ofiteru, Darren Wilkinson, Jinju Chen, Tom Curtis, A Mechanistic Individual-based Model of Microbial Communities, PLoS ONE 12(8): e0181965.

Dan Zou, Wei Wang, Daoxi Lei, Ying Yin, Fei Fang, Peng Ren, Jinju Chen, Tieying Yin, Bochu Wang, Guixue Wang, Yazhou Wang*. Kill two birds with one stone:Penetrate blood-brain barrier and enable anti-tumor and nerve repair in glioma by DOX-loaded monosialoganglioside micelles system" has been accepted for publication in "International Journal of Nanomedicine",  7 June 2017

Effects of elemene on inhibiting proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and promoting reendothelialization at the stent implantation site, Biomaterials Science, Wenjie Sun,  Yuhua Huang,  Tieying Yin,  Jingjing Wang,  Ruolin Du,  Juhui Qiu,  Yuan Zhang,  Yazhou Wang,  Jinju Chen, Guixue Wang , Biomaterials Science, 2017, 5, 1144 - 1155, doi: 10.1039/C7BM00190H

Hunt NC, Hallam D, Karimi A, Mellough CB, Chen J, Steel DHW, Lako M. 3D culture of human pluripotent stem cells in RGD-alginate hydrogel improves retinal tissue development. Acta Biomaterialia 2017, 49, 329-343

W B Wang, Y Q Fu, J J Chen, W P Xuan, J K Chen, X Z Wang,P Mayrhofer, P F Duan, A Bittner, U Schmid and J K Luo, AlScN thin film based surface acoustic wave devices with enhanced microfluidic performance, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, J. Micromech. Microeng. 26 (2016) 075006 (8pp)

Yunyi Cao; Pengfei Duan; Jinju Chen (*). Modelling the nanomechanical response of micro particle-matrix system for nanoindentation tests, Nanotechnology (IF=3.82), 2016 , 27, 195703 ;

Jinju Chen(*), D.L. Bader , D.A. Lee, M.M. Knight, Finite element analysis of mechanical deformation of chondrocyte to 2D substrate and 3D scaffold, Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, 2015, 15:1550077 (13 pages), DOI: 10.1142/S0219519415500773

M.G. Zhang, J. Chen, X.Q. Feng, Y.P. Cao, On the applicability of Sneddon’s solution for interpreting the indentation of nonlinear elastic biopolymers, Journal of Applied Mechanics,2014, 81 (9), 091011

Pengfei Duan, Jinju Chen(*), Nanomechanical and microstructure analysis of extracellular matrix layer of immortalized cell line Y201 from human mesenchymal stem cells, Surface & Coatings Technology  (2015), pp. 417-421 DOI information: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2015.06.076

P. Duan, S.J. Bull, J. Chen(*), Modelling the nanomechanical responses of biopolymer composites during the nanoindentation, Thin Solid Films,  2015, Pages 277–281, doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2015.07.050

Y. Ammar, D. Swailes, B. Bridgens, J.Chen (*), Influence of surface roughness on initial formation of biofilm, Surface & Coatings Technology  (2015), pp. 410-416 DOI information: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2015.07.062

Topical Review

Jinju Chen, Indentation based methods to assess fracture toughness for thin coatings, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (2012) 45 203001 doi:10.1088/0022-3727/45/20/203001

 Invited papers 

Chen J.  Nanobiomechanics of Living Cells: a review, Royal Society Interface Focus, 2014, 4: 20130055.

Chen J, Wright KE, Birch MA. Nanoscale viscoelastic properties and adhesion of polydimethylsiloxane for tissue engineering, Acta Mechanica Sinica, 2014, DOI 10.1007/s10409-014-0022-0.

Chen J, Bull SJ. Approaches to investigate delamination and interfacial toughness in coated systems: an overview. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2011,44 3 034001.

Chen J, Bull SJ. On the factors affecting the critical indenter penetration for measurement of coating hardness. Vacuum 2009. ,83 6 911-920.

Chen J, Bull SJ. Indentation fracture and toughness assessment for thin optical coatings on glass. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2007, 40(18), 5401-5417.



Jinju Chen, A non-destructive approach to determine fracture toughness of coating: Nanoindentation tests and analysis, Chapter 3, pp123-178,in Thin Films and Coatings: Toughening and Toughness Characterisation, edited by Sam Zhang, published on July 29, 2015 by CRC Press

Jinju Chen, Chapter 7: Thin film coatings and the biological interface , Thin Film Coatings for Biomaterials and Biomedical Applications; Woodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials: Number 110, 143-164,  edited by Prof. Hans Griesser, 2016.

Journal Editor 

 Guest Editor for Thin Solid Films, 2014-2015,

Guest Editor for Surface and Coatings Technology,  2016-2017

Appointed as a Principal Editor of Journal of Materials Research (Feb 2016-   )  

Editorial Board

International Journal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology 

 Conference chair/society chair

* Co-Chair of Symposium E - Organic and Biological Coatings of TACT 2017 (International Thin Films Conference), Taiwan, 15-18Oct, 2017

*        Session chair for Soft matters & MD/ab initio applications, 9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MATERIALS FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES, Singapore, June 2017

         Appointed as Chairperson of Tyne & Wear Materials Society (2016-  ), IOM3, UK.

·         Chairing a session in Nanoindentation Conference at Newcastle 2010.

*        Co-chair of Symposium of Mechanical properties of thin films (MPF), ThinFilms2014.

*        Co-chair topical session in 42nd Intl. Conf. Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF), 20–24 April 2015, San Diego, United States.

*       Co-chair topical session in 43rd Intl. Conf. Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF), 25–29 April 2016, San Diego, United States.

Details about the session: 

TS-1: Biointerface

This session focuses on the properties and control of the interface between the materials and biological cells or tissues. Biointerfaces are important in a wide range of fields such as biomedical engineering, biomaterials, surface coatings, surface functionalization, cell biology, microbial infections, biotechnology, and regenerative medicine.  The aim of the session is to cover the biological, chemical, physical and mechanical interactions that take place at the interface between living tissues and biomolecules with surfaces and biomedical devices. And for such purpose the interaction between material scientists, engineers, physicists, cell biologists, and mathematicians is important.
The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

·         Surface modification methods to control living organism responses

·         Biomolecular interface for cell modulation

·         Adhesion and contact mechanics at biointerface

·         Biology-device interface

·         Topographical biointerfaces

·         Mechanical-structural biointerfaces

·         Chemo-structural biointerfaces

·         Computational and modelling aspects in biointerfaces

Conference organization committee

·          Conference organizing committee for Nanoindentation Conference at Newcastle 2008.

*         Conference organizing committee for the 7th International Conference on Technological Advances of Thin Films & Surface Coatings, China 2014 .

*       Conference co-organizer for THINFILMS2016 (8th International Conference on Technological Advances of Thin Films & Surface Coatings) ,12th-15th July 2016, SINGAPORE

*       42nd, 43rd, 44th Intl. Conf. Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF), USA,  2015, 2016, 2017


Reviewer for  international and national funding bodies

·         Czech Republic Science Foundation* (2009-present), Tier 1 Grant Singapore (2016-present), ANR ( French National Research Agency), (2016-present) , Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) 

*         EPSRC* (2013-present), BBSRC (2014-present), MRC (2015-present), Cancer Research UK (2017-present),    *: frequently

 External Ph.D examiner for the following University
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2012)

University of Groningen, Netherlands (2016)

 Reviewer for the chapters in the technical book proposals for

 Wiley (2012-present)

 Reviewer for Journals

 Manuscript reviewer for Molecular Pharmaceutics,  Medicinal Research Reviews, Nanotechnology, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Biomedical Materials, Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials*, Journal of Materials Research*, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys.*, Experimental Mechanics*, Acta Mechanica Sinica, Crystal Growth & Design, Materials & Design, Journal of Materials Science, Materials Science and Engineering C*, Applied Physics A, Thin Solid Films*, Surface Coating & Technology*, Materials Research Express , Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Semiconductor Science and Technology, Tribology International, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters, Wear.

*: frequently

Invited  presentations and seminars

Computational biophysics or cell mechanics

18 - 23 June 2017:  9th International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT 2017),  Suntec, Singapore

April 2017: Montana State University, USA. 

Jan 2017:   Chongqing University , China

Dec 2016: Invited guest lectures on Finite element modelling for University of Chinese Academic Of Science  

Dec 2016: Perking University (Beida), China

Dec 2016:  Beihang University , China

Dec 2016: Tsinghua University, China

Nov 2016: National Physical Lab, UK

July 2016: National University of Singapore

July 2016: University of Malaya, Malaysia

July 2016: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

March  2016: Symposium of Biointerfaces, Advanced Materials Conference, Newcastle, UK

Jan 2016: Chinese Academic of Science, Beijing,China

Jan 2016: Hohai University , China

Dec 2015: Xi'an Jiao Tong University, China

Dec 2015: Chinese Academic of Science, Qingdao,China

Dec 2015: Tongji University, China

 March 2015: Keynote speaker @ 5th Annual International Conference on Advances in Biotechnology (BioTech 2015)  , India,

•Oct 2015: University of Manchester,UK

•Dec 2014: Sun Yat-Sen University , China

•Dec 2014: Zhejiang University , China

•Dec 2014: South China University of Technology, China

•Dec 2014: Soochow University, China

•May 2014: Glasgow University, UK

•Apr 2014: Columbia University, USA

•Apr 2014: Montana State University, USA

•Nov 2013: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

•Dec. 2012: Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Mechanics, China.

•Dec. 2012: Beihang University, China.

•Dec. 2012:  Beijing Institute of Technology, China

•Apr. 2012: University of Kentucky, USA

•Apr. 2012: University of California, San Diego, USA

•Dec. 2011:  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

•Dec. 2010: Peking University, Beijing, China. 

•Dec. 2010: Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China. 

•Sept. 2010: University of Cambridge, UK 

•Aug. 2010: Symposium of Chondrocyte Mechanics in 6th World Congress on Biomechanics, Singapore. 

•Aug.2010: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore .

Nanomechanics, Fracture Mechanics and Interface Adhesion 

 Dec 2016: Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academic of Science, 


•Dec 2014: Guangdong University of Technology , China

•Jul 2014: 7th International Conference on Technological Advances of Thin Films & Surface Coatings, China
May 2014: Glasgow University, UK

•Apr. 2014: 41st International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF), San Diego, USA.

•Mar.2013: National Physical Laboratory, Institute of Physics (IOP) Tribology Group Conference.

•June 2011: Materials Today Virtual Conference: Characterization Techniques and Analysis.
•Dec. 2010: The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
•Dec. 2010: Peking University, Beijing, China.
•Dec. 2010: Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China.
•Aug. 2008: Loughborough University, UK. 
•May 2008: Institute of Physics One–Day Seminar on Nanoindentation and Nanotribology, National Physical Laboratory,UK
•May 2008: Nanomechanical Labortary, Hysitron Inc., Minneapolis, USA.
•May 2008: University of South Carolina, USA.

Academic Visitor

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Loughborough University, UK.
Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Dusseldorf, Germany.

 Conference presentations

I have made more than 30 presentations in international conferences such as MRS Fall meeting, MS&T conference, International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF), Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics,Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES), International Conference on Cell & Stem Cell Engineering (ICCE). 

Recent awards (after 2007)

·         European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) Travel Award 2010

·         International Travel Grant (The Royal Society) 2010

·         The following article has been selected as one of the highlights in the year of 2007 in J. Phys. D:  J. Chen and S J Bull, Indentation fracture and toughness assessment for thin optical coatings on glass, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (2007) 5401-5417

Industry consultancy experience

 Stress analysis, Hardness and wear analysis of Coatings, Fracture and delamination analysis.

 Professional membership

Materials Research Society;  Europe Society of Biomechanics; Tissue and Cell Engineering Society;

Institute of Physics


To future PhD students: If you are interested in joining my group, please contact Dr Chen.

The applicants must have  2:1 or first class in their first degree (Undergraduate ).  The candidates should be highly motivated. Relevant research experience is desirable. Master degree is an advantage but not essential. 

Newcastle University is one of the five UK Universities successful in obtaining the EPSRC Frontier Engineering Award.   EPSRC Newcastle University Frontier Engineering of Biological system (NUFEB):

Flow and Biomechanics Team: Dr. Jinju Chen(Team leader, also known as Vicky Chen), Dr.Ben Bridgens, Dr. David Swailes

Other key group members: Post-doc researchers:  Dr. Jaya PAHALA GEDARA (Oct 2014- June 2019), Dr. Saikat Jana  (Aug 2015-June 2019), 

MPhil student: Y. Cao (2015-2016). Successfully defended his viva on 12 Jan 2017.

PhD students:

Mr Pengfei Duan (joined in Jan.2014),

Ms Nehir Kandemir (joined in Sept.2014),

 Mr Subash Chinnaraj (joined in Sept.2014),

Mr. Sam Charlton (joined in Sept.2015), 

Mr.  Puneet Tailor (co-supervised, joined in Sept. 2016)

Mr. Wenjian Yang (joined in Sept. 2016)

Mr. Yunyi Cao (joined in Jan 2017),

Ms Yuqing Xia (joined in Jan 2017)

Visiting academic fellows :  Associate Prof. Y  Wang; Associate Prof. T Yin ( Jan 2017- July 2017)

Previous group members : Dr. S. Elatriby  (July 2015-Jan 2016); Dr Yasmine Ammar (2014-2015), Wenbo Wang (Jan 2015-July 2015)

 Group news (2015-2017):

Ms Nehir Kandemir was the runner-up in PGR conference in 2015. 

Mr. Duan gave an oral presentation at 42nd ICMCTF at San Diego in April 2015.  

Dr. Chen, Dr Phahala, Mr Chinnaraj  all gave oral presentations at 43rd ICMCTF at San Diego in April 2016.  

Mr Duan gave an oral presentation at ThinFilms2016, Singapore in July 2016. 

Congratulations to yunyi Cao and pengfei Duan who have a joint  paper published in Nanotechlology (IF=3.82) in 2016 .

Summer internship student Mieszko Jaskiewicz in my group, who works on microfluidics, was the overall Faculty prize winner (£300) at the recent ‘Celebrating Student Research Scholarships and Expeditions’ annual poster and presentations evening 2016.

Mr Yunyi Cao and Sam Charlton were the Tyne & Wear Materials Society (TWMS) (associated with IOM3) young person lecture  competition 2017 winner  (£100) and runner-up (£50). 

Mr Yunyi Cao and Sam Charlton were the runner-up in PGR conference in 2017. 

Ms Nehir Kandemir was the winner for TCES scholarship, awarded in April 2017.

Prof. Yin and Prof. Wang just had a joint paper with us accepted in Biomaterials Science in April 2017. Well done !

Dr. Chen, Ms Kandemir, Mr Charlton, Mr Cao all gave oral presentations at 44th ICMCTF at San Diego in April 2017.  

Prof. Wang and Prof. Yin just had a joint paper with us accepted in "International Journal of Nanomedicine",  7 June 2017. Well done !

My Expertise

Biomechanics, Fracture mechanics,  Adhesion evaluation, Nano/Micromechanics, Surface analysis, Finite element simulation, 3D modelling for biomedical images.

Applied Mathematical Modelling ( I was selected to participate International Mathematical Contest in Modelling when I was an undergraduate. I still have strong interest in mathematical modelling. If you share the same interest, please feel free to contact me. )

Research area

Nanomechanics :  Nanoindentation;  Nanotribology

Rheology and microfludics: rheology of soft materials and solutions, Microfluidic device and characterisation and its applications

Bacterial Adhesion and Biofilm Mechanics

Multiscale biomechanics,

The physics of biofilm formation

Develop methods to inhibit biofilm formation or destroy biofilms

Finite Element Analysis:   Biomechanics; Modelling deformation in advanced materials; Modelling Interfacial crack initiation and evolution

Mechanics of Biomaterials: Tissue engineered bone; Cell-matrix interaction; Cell mechanics; Hydrogel scaffold, Soft tissues mechanics

Thin Film Mechanics:  Energy related coatings (Anode Coatings & Solar Control Coatings);  Polymeric coatings; Hard coatings; MEMS

key facilities at lab: Rheometer, micro-PIV, Angle meter, and various other mechanical characterisation instruments

 Current projects:

*    Mechanics of biomaterials and cell-materials interactions (collaborate with ARUK Tissue Engineering Centre )
*   Flow and biomechanics of biofilms  ((Co-I) EPSRC Frontier Grant "An New Frontier in Design: The Simulation of Open Engineered Biological Systems", EP/K039083: Total: £5.5 millions)

*   Multiscale modelling and characterisation of biofilms (DTA award) 

*  Nanobiomechanics of bacteria (DTA award)

*   Hydrogels for tissue engineering and biomechanics modelling ( MRC award)

* Nanomechanics of heterogeneous materials

* Microfluidic device and characterisation 

* Biofilm mechanics  (DPT award)

* Computation tissue and cell engineering (NSS award)

*  Research Excellence Academy ( REA award )

The major research projects I've worked on

*A multiscale Modelling Approach to Engineering Functional Coatings (EPSRC Materials Modelling Consortium *Multiscale Mechanobiology for Tissue Engineering (EPSRC Platform Grant)



Postgraduate  research students (Ph.D, MPhil and MRes), visiting research students, summer internship or visiting scientists (or fellows) are welcome to join my group. In the past two years, I have hosted excellent summer students (sponsored by various councils) from Brazil , Germany, Jordan, France and China.

Other projects include: 

Biomechanics  and Mechanotransduction (priority area in my group)

1. Multiscale modelling of soft tissue mechanics 

2. Multiscale modelling of  biofilms

3. Flow -biofilm interactions

4. Cell-materials interactions

5. Mechanics of Advanced Biomaterials

6. Cell Mechanics and physics

Thin Film Mechanics

1. Multiscale modelling of mechanics of functional coatings

2. Predict mechanical durability and performance of battery materials

3. Cracking and delamination of coatings




Teaching & supervising

Semester 1

Mechanical Engineering professional Skills

Materials Science (practical)

Mechanics II

Computational modelling


Tutor of Stage 1 students 


 Semester 2

Applied Mechanics (Module leader)

Mechanical Engineering professional Skills

Engineering Mathematics with Applications


Tutor of Stage 1 students  

Individual supervision for BEng and MSc students

MSc, and BEng  students in Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, as well as excellent internship students fully sponsored by different organizations. 

I also host government (or research council, home University) sponsored visiting research fellows and research students with strong track of record.