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Feng Zhao



  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate Program Director, Biomedical Engineering


Zhao's lab seeks to address the challenges associated with engineering completely biological cardiovascular tissues for regenerative medicine applications. We are developing innovative cell therapies using stem cell sheets to create 3D scaffold-free tissue constructs with the structural similarity, necessary mechanical characteristics, and sufficient immuno-compatibility to facilitate functional in vivo integration. We are also trying to recreate biomimetic microenvironment for 3D tissue development by precisely manipulating biomaterials, oxygen tension, and hydrodynamic culture conditions. The underlying mechanisms that regulate the tissue development are under ongoing investigation by the experimental replication of in vivo cell-cell and cell-environment interactions.

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Stem cell therapies
  • Naturally derived biomaterials
  • Cell sheet engineering
  • 3D scaffold-free tissue fabrication
  • Cardiovascular tissue regeneration
  • Neural Tissue Engineering

Recent Publications

  • Chen L, Xing Q, Zhai Q, Tahtinen M, Zhou F, Chen L, Xu Y, Qi S, Zhao F*. Pre-vascularization enhances therapeutic effects of human mesenchymal stem cell sheets in full thickness skin wound repair. Theranostics. 2017; 7:117-131.Read More
  • Zhang L, Xing Q, Qian Z, Tahtinen M, Zhang Z, Shearier E, Qi S, Zhao F*. Hypoxia created human mesenchymal stem cell sheet for prevascularized three-dimensional tissue construction. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2016;5:342-52. Read More
  • Shearier E, Xing Q, Qian Z, Zhao F*. Physiologically low oxygen enhances biomolecule production and stemness of mesenchymal stem cell spheroids. Tissue Engineering C-Methods. 2016; 22: 360-369. (Cover art). Read More
  • Xing Q, Vogt C, Leong KW, Zhao F *. Highly aligned nanofibrous natural extracellular matrix scaffold derived from fibroblast cell sheets. Advanced Functional Materials, 2014; 24:1-9. Read More
  • Vogt C, Xing Q, He W, Li B, Frost MC, Zhao F *. Fabrication and characterization of a nitric oxide-releasing nanofibrous gelatin matrix. Biomacromolecules, 2013;14:2521–2530. Read More
  • Zhao F, Veldhuis JJ, Duan Y, Yang Y, Christoforou N, Ma T, Leong KW. Low oxygen tension and synthetic nanogratings improve the uniformity and stemness of human mesenchymal stem cell layer. Molecular Therapy, 2010;18:1010–1018. Read More
  • Zhao F, Grayson WL, Ma T. Perfusion affects the tissue developmental patterns of human mesenchymal stem cells in 3D Scaffolds. Journal of cellular physiology, 2009; 219: 421-429. Read More
  • Zhao F, Grayson WL, Ma T, Bunnell B, and Lu WW. Effects of hydroxyapatite in 3-D chitosan-gelatin polymer network on human mesenchymal stem cell construct development. Biomaterials, 2006;27: 1859-1867. Read More
  • See more publications in My Lab Website Read More