Xu Han, PhD

Xu Han, PhD


Adjunct Assistant Professor
Assistant Research Professor



Cryopreservation is a critical platform for technical development and practical applications of modern biology. For example, with rapid advances in cell-based therapies and assays for drug discovery, as well as the continued development of regenerative medicine, biobanking and organ transplantation technologies, there has always been an urgent need to improve the efficiency in cryopreservation of cells,biological or engineered tissues and organs, on both laboratory and industrial scales. I am the leading inventor of three cryopreservation technologies with unique proficiency in: 1) changing ice crystal structures on the nanometer scale; 2) changing crystal growth patterns on the micrometer scale; and 3) achieving direct vitrification without cryoprotectants on the centimeter scale. With the support of NIH and NIFA SBIRs, Coulter Foundation, and MU Fast-Track awards, our group has achieved long-term storage of human cells in mechanical freezers without the need of liquid nitrogen facilities, and enabled efficient cryopreservation of primary neurons and corneas that are highly challenging when using traditional approaches. We are currently working on other highly valuable cryosenstive cell and tissue types (e.g. primary cardiomyocytes, white blood cells, and arteries), bioartificial tissues (e.g. engineered retina tissues), and organs (e.g. hearts). We are also working on cryopreservation of cells and tissues of insects and livestock animals to promote agricultural research and practices. With the support of Centennial Investors, MU Office of Technology Transfer and Missouri Innovation Center, we also founded CryoCrate LLC (www.CryoCrate.com) to commercialize these technologies that possess ability to immensely benefit biological researchers, biotechnology companies and patients.

Academic Information

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Assistant Research Professor


University of Missouri Life Science Incubator 126G
1601 S. Providence Rd
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

P. 573-268-9501

Research Interests

  • Cell and tissue cryopreservation 
  • Cardiac preservation and transplantation
  • Ice formation and vitrification mechanism
  • Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Areas of Expertise

  • Cryobiology and Biophysics
  • Thermodynamics and phase transition
  • Numerical simulation and molecular dynamics
  • Biomedical device development and production

Education & Training


Computational Sciences Research Scholarship of Univ. of Kentucky

Post-Graduate School

PhD, University of Kentucky


BS, University of Science and Tech of China

Awards & Honors

  • NIH SBIR Direct Phase II Award, 2022
  • DoD MBRP Idea Development Award, 2022
  • NIH SBIR Direct Phase II Award, 2021
  • NIH SBIR Phase II Award, 2019
  • MU-Coulter Translational Partnership, 2018
  • NIH SBIR Phase I Award, 2018
  • NIFA SBIR Phase I Award, 2018
  • MU Fast-Track Award, 2016
  • Outstanding Reviewer for Elsevier, 2016
  • NIH SBIR Phase I Award, 2015
  • Coulter Translational Partnership, 2015
  • MU Faculty Innovation Award, 2014
  • MU Intellectual Property Fast-Track Award, 2013
  • NIH SBIR Fast-track Subcontract Award, 2011
  • Top Reviewer for the Journal of Cryobiology, 2011


  • Han X, White H, Koulen P. 2022. Efficient Biocompatible Cryopreservation Medium That Eliminates the Need for Cell Permeating Cryoprotectants. PCT/USA63/170673.
  • Han X, White H, Koulen P. 2019. Improved Ultra-Fast Cooling System and Methods of Use, PCT/US19/26162
  • Han X, Koulen P, Crister J. 2019. An Efficient Cryopreservation Device Preventing the Direct Contact Between Samples and Extracellular Ice, PCT/US19/48986
  • Mao Y, Zhang Y, Han X (2018). Cryoprotective Mechanism of Using Ficoll for Cell cryopreservation at Non-Cryogenic Temperatures: A Molecular Dynamics Study. Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer. 127: 319-325.
  • Han X, Koulen P, Crister J. 2018. An Efficient Cryopreservation Device Preventing the Direct Contact Between Samples and Extracellular Ice, US62/724,959
  • Han X, White H, Koulen P. 2018. Improved Ultra-Fast Cooling System and Methods of Use US62/652,986
  • Yuan Y, Yang Y, Tian Y, Park J, Dai A, Roberts RM, Liu Y, Han X (2016). Efficient longterm cryopreservation of pluripotent stem cells at -80 °C. Scientific reports. 6:34476.
  • Han X (2016). Direct microscale measurement of mouse oocyte membrane permeability to water and ethylene glycol at subzero temperatures using cryomicroscopy. Cryo letters. 2016; 37(6):394-400.
  • Han X (2016). A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Mechanical Damage to Rodent Sperm Generated by Microscale Ice Formation. Cryo letters. 2016; 37(6):388-393. 
  • Han X, Yuan Y, and Roberts R.M. 2017. Cryopreservation Medium And Method To Prevent Recrystallization, PCT/US2017/032606.
Download All Publications Download