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Prof. Xin Zhao
PolyU Scholars Hub


Associate Professor

Exploits multi-disciplinary approaches to generate tissue-engineered organs for clinical problems


Dr. Xin Zhao is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). She obtained her PhD at University College London, UK and postdoc training at Harvard University, USA, before joining PolyU. Her research interest is on Translational Regenerative Medicine, where she integrates multi-disciplinary approaches including material science, cell biology, engineering and medicine to modulate cell microenvironments, control cell behaviors and generate tissue-engineered organs, for addressing clinical issues.


So far, she has published >100 articles (with h-index of 36 in Google Scholar, 5 of which are ESI highly cited paper) in prestigious journals including Nat. Mater., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Chem. Rev., Mater. Today, Adv. Funct. Mater., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Biomaterials, Small. She has successfully attracted over 10 grants (⁓11 million) as principal investigator from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF), Innovation and Technology Fund of Hong Kong (ITF), National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), etc. She is a recipient of the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars (2021, only 25 recipients in Hong Kong and Macau each year). She has also been shortlisted for the “Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Science” in 2019 (10 shortlisted from >150 applicants globally) and her project “Biomimicking Photocrosslinkable Nanocomposite Bone Graft” has won the Silver Medal at the Special Edition 2021 Inventions Geneva. She is also a founding editor of Engineered Regeneration, associate editor of Bio-Des. Manuf., and guest editor for 11 other journals.

Research Interests

  • Biomaterials
  • Drug Delivery
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Cell Micro-environment
  • Microfluidics

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China,2021-current 
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China, 2016-2021
  • Associate Professor, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, 2015 - 2016
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, USA, 2014-2015
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School, USA, 2012-2014
  • Research associate, Guangzhou iGenomics Co., Ltd., China, 2011-2012

Research Output

  • H-index: 30 (Google Scholar)/24 (Scopus) ORCID: (0000-0002-9521-7768)
  • Citation: 2900+ (Google Scholar)/ 2300+ (Scopus)
  • Yang ZL#Zhao X#, Hao R, Tu Q, Tian X, Xiao Y, Xiong K, Wang M, Feng Y, Huang N, Pan G. Bio-clickable and mussel adhesive peptide mimics for engineering vascular stent surfaces. P Natl Acad Sci USA (IF 9.412). 2020 (accepted). Doi: 10.1073/pnas.200373117
  • Yang YH, Zhang Q, Xu TP, Zhang HY, Zhang M, Lu L, Hao YF#, Fuh JYH#Zhao X# Photocrosslinkable nanocomposite ink for printing strong, biodegradable and bioactive bone graft. Biomaterials (IF 10.317). 2020 (accepted)
  • Mao M, Bei HP, Lam CH, Chen P, Wang S, Chen Y, He J, Zhao X*, Human-on-leaf-chip: A biomimetic vascular system integrated with chamber-specific organs, Small (IF 11.459, journal cover). 2020. Doi: 2020 Apr 24:2000546.
  • Chen ZY, Zhang Q, Li HM, Wei Q, Zhao X#, Chen FL#, Elastin-like polypeptide modified silk fibroin porous scaffold promotes osteochondral repair. Bioactive Materials (IF 9.8). 2020 (accepted)
  • Zhu, Z., Liu, J, Liu, C., Wu, X., Li, Q., Chen, S., Zhao X*., Weitz, D. A., Microfluidics-assisted assembly of injectable photonic hydrogels toward reflective cooling. Small (IF 11.459) 2019, 1903939. Doi:10.1002/smll.201903939
  • Zhang F, Zhang Q, Li XY, Huang N, Zhao X*, Yang ZL. Mussel-inspired dopamine-CuII coatings for sustained in situ generation of nitric oxide for prevention of stent thrombosis and restenosis. Biomaterials (IF 10.317), 2019, 194,117-129.
  • Yang ZL, Yang Y, Zhang L, Xiong KQ, Li XY, Zhang F, Wang J, Zhao X*, Huang N. Mussel-inspired catalytic selenocystamine-dopamine coatings for long-term generation of therapeutic gas on cardiovascular stents. Biomaterials (IF 10.317) ,2018, 178,1-10.
  • Zhao X, Liu S, Yildirimer L, Zhao H, Ding RH, Wang HN, Cui WG, Weitz D. Injectable stem cell laden photo-crosslinkable microspheres fabricated using microfluidics for rapid generation of osteogenic tissue constructs. Adv Func Mater (IF 16.836), 2016, 26, 2809-2819. (journal cover)
  • Zhao X, Jiang SC, Chen S, Zhou L, Lin ZY, Pan GQ, He F, Li B, Yang HL, Fan CY, Cui WG. Optimization of intrinsic and extrinsic tendon healing through controllable water-soluble mitomycin-C release from electrospun fibers by mediating adhesion-related gene expression. Biomaterials (IF 10.317), 2015, 61, 61-74.
  • Zhao X, Yuan ZM, Yildirimer L, Zhao JW, Lin ZY, Pan GQ, Cui WG. Tumor-triggered controlled drug release from electrospun fibers using inorganic caps for inhibiting cancer relapse. Small (IF 11.459), 2015, 11, 4284-4291. (journal cover)
  • 15th International Conference on Plasma Based Ion Implantation & Deposition (session chair), Shenzhen, Dec 2019
  • 4th CIRP Conference on BioManufacturing, (Organizing Committee), Guangzhou, Dec 2019.
  • 2019 Annual Conference for Society of Chinese Mechanical Engineering Biomanufacturing Division and the International Symposium on Bio-Manufacturing (ACBD-ISBM2019), (invited talk), Beijing, 2019
  • Max Planck Croucher Symposium 2019, (only 2 are selected form one institute in Hong Kong) Okinawa, Nov 2019
  • 3D Bioprinting Submit (keynote speech), Beijing, China, 2019
  • Suzhou Sports Medicine Annual Conference (keynote speech), Suzhou, China, 2019
  • The 5th Youth Forum on Additive Manufacturing (keynote speech), Nanjing, China, 2019
  • Third International Symposium on Translational Nanomedicine (invited talk), Guangzhou, China, 2019
  • The 12th IEEE International Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering (session chair), Hawaii, USA,2018
  • The 3rd Asian University Symposium on Biomedical Engineering (keynote speech), Seoul, Korea, 2018
  • The 4th Youth Forum on Additive Manufacturing (keynote speech), 2018
  • World Congress on Medial Physics and Biomedical Engineering (invited talk), Prague, Czech Republic, 2018
  • The 2nd Karolinska Institutet Symposium “Reparative Medicine and Beyond" (invited talk), 2018
  • The 6th International Symposium on Surface and Interface of Biomaterials (keynote speech, session chair), 2017
  • Biomaterials for regenerative medicine (invited talk by Prof Liming Bian). Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2017.
  • Photocrosslinkable gelatin for tissue engineering, International Soft Matter Symposium & the 6th “China Soft Matter Day” (invited talk), Shen Zhen, China, 2017
  • The 8th WACBE World Congress on Bioengineering (session chair, organizing committee), HK, China), HK, China
  • Photocrosslinkable gelatin for tissue engineering, Karolinska Institutet Symposium “Reparative Medicine and Beyond (invited talk), Hong Kong, China, 2017
  • Biomaterials for regenerative medicine (invited talk by Anderson Shum). University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2017.
  • Biomaterials for translational medicine. 3D bioprinting and biomaterials (keynote speech), Hong Kong, China, 2016.
  • Stem cell-laden photo-crosslinkable microspheres for bone regeneration, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society- Asia Pacific Meeting (invited talk), Taiwan, China, 2016
  • Stem cell-laden photo-crosslinkable microspheres for bone regeneration, 6th International Conference on Optofluidics (invited talk), Beijing, China, 2016
  • Stem cell-laden photo-crosslinkable microspheres for bone regeneration, 10th World Biomaterials Congress (oral presentation), Montreal, Canada, 2016
  • Micro- and nanofabrication of biomaterials and their biomedical applications, the 2nd National Young Scholar’s Forum on Additive Manufacturing (invited talk), Xi’an, China, 2016
  • Biomaterials for translational medicine (invited talk). City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2016.
  • Tumor triggered cancer therapy (invited talk). International Young Scholars Forum, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, 2015.
  • Biomaterials for translational medicine (invited talk). Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, 2015.
  • Innovation and Technology Fund, (PI, Grant no. ITS/065/19, HK$ 1,369,650), Spatiotemporal dual delivery of therapeutic gas and biomolecule for prevention of stent thrombosis and restenosis, 01/05/2020- 31/10/2022.
  • General Research Fund, Research Grants Council (PI, Grant no. 15202119, HK$ 495,000), Dual-targeting, bioresponsive and programmed site-specific drug delivery for pancreatic cancer treatment, 01/2020-09/2022
  • Health and Medical Research Fund (PI, Grant no. 06173186, HK$ 947,400), Development of bioresponsive nano-peptide-gel fibrous membranes for an on-demand siRNA delivery for prevention of tendon adhesions: a preclinical study, 24/09/2019-23/09/2021
  • Early Career Scheme, Research Grants Council, (PI, Grant no. 25208218, HK$ 750,000), Long-term drug release from electrospun fibrous scaffolds for prevention of hypertrophic scar, 01/01/2019-31/12/2021
  • Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (Ref. No. G-PolyU508/18), Research Grants Council, (PI, HK$ 89,600). Development of soft and elastic hydrogel nanofibrous scaffolds for rapid vascularized skin regeneration. 01/01/2019-31/12/2020
  • Youth Projects of National Science Foundation of China (PI, Grant no. 11702233, ¥ 250,000), Development of soft and elastic hydrogel-based 3D microenvironment for neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells, 01/01/2018-31/12/2020.
  • Visiting Scholarship Scheme of the K.C. Wong Education Foundation (PI, HK$ 20,000), 01/01/2020-31/12/2020
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2019-22 (Ref: SS-BME1), (PI, HK$ 199,800), Towards a new age of course-based undergraduate research training: apprenticeship via e-platform for lab equipment management and teaching, 01/07/2020- 31/12/2021.
  • Cui WG, Zhu YQ, Yuan TW, Cheng YS, Zhao X, Gao F, Degradable esophagus scaffolds National utility model patent, China. (granted, 201520876939.4).
  • Ni Q, Wu W, Zhao X, Cui WG, Dai Y, Wan LP. NO releasing blood vessel scaffolds. National utility model patent, China. (granted, 201610397559.1).
  • Yang ZL, Guo RQ, Huang N, Tu QF, Xiong KQ, Zhao X, A bimolecule thin film and preparation method with regionally selective controllable immobilization (granted, 201910027335.5)
  • Zhao X, Yang YH, Preparation and application of periosteum mimicking nanocomposite materials (filed, 201911080184.6)
  • Zhao X, Yang YH, A preparation method of photocrosslinkable nanocomposite and bone tissue engineering scaffolds (filed, 201911078331.6)

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