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Jens O.M. Karlsson, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Jens O.M. Karlsson, PhD Jens O.M. Karlsson, PhD

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering | College of Engineering | Villanova University


Jens Karlsson, PhD, specializes in biothermal sciences, including cryobiology (cooling) and hyperthermic processes (heating).





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Areas of Expertise (6)



Biophysical Mechanisms


Intracellular Ice Formation

Hyperthermic Processes


Dr. Karlsson is a leading expert in the biothermal sciences. These include cryobiology (cooling) and hyperthermic processes (heating). Cryobiology investigates cryopreservation and cryosurgery. Cryopreservation is used in cell banking for many areas of biotechnology. It is also used for cell therapy (stem cells), in vitro fertilization, blood cell banking. Cryosurgery can be used to destroy certain cancerous cells. Hyperthermic processes include the treatment of burn injuries and fever. They also cover thermal ablation (removal), used in the treatment of cancers and in transdermal drug delivery.

Dr. Karlsson is a founding member of the Cellular & Molecular Bioengineering Research Group, and serves as Director of the College of Engineering Genomics Core Laboratory.

Education (3)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: SM

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: SB

Select Media Appearances (4)

Closer to cryopreservation: New findings could overcome obstacles to freezing human tissues

Fox News  online


“If you can cryopreserve tissue or even organs, then you have a way of storing them and of transporting them,” senior author Dr. Jens Karlsson, of the department of mechanical engineering at Villanova University, told FoxNews.com. “Now if you want to do a (lung) transplantation, you’re rushing the harvest organ from one hospital to another by helicopter, and you only have a few hours to do it. But if you’re able to preserve the tissue, then you have as much time as you want and you can really find the best match for the tissue and transport it over much longer distances.”

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Is freezing the key to preserving engineered organs and tissues?

Newsworks  online


Villanova's Jens Karlsson tells us about his work trying to determine the best methods for freezing tissues and human organs. Scientists are making progress in engineering tissues and organs, often using 3D printing as a key tool. As this field is picking up speed, another issue arises. "If you have a company that wants to manufacture these organs and sell them to hospitals they have to be able to preserve them," says Jens Karlsson, an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University, who specializes in cryogenics. "You have to be able to store them in a freezer somewhere, so that they can make many at a time, so that it's cost-effective."

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Will We Ever Cryopreserve Our Organs?

BBC  online


The last 12 months has seen significant advances in this area. Taylor, working with Yoed Rabin, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, introduced a new device that enables high-resolution full-colour thermal imaging in large-volume tissues. Meanwhile, Jens Karlsson at Villanova University in Pennsylvania has recently captured ultra-slow-motion microscopic video footage of ice penetrating tiny pockets between two close-knit cells and then triggering crystallisation within them.

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New findings could overcome major stumbling blocks to tissue cryopreservation for medical care

Phys.org  online


Developing an efficient way to freeze and store living tissues could transform many aspects of medical care and research, but ice crystallization often occurs within cells during such cryopreservation procedures, leading to cell death. In the November 5 issue of the Biophysical Journal, a Cell Press publication, researchers report that they have gained new information about the processes that are responsible for promoting the freezing of cells within tissues. This knowledge may ultimately lead to novel approaches for preventing tissue injury during cryopreservation. A long-standing obstacle to avoiding tissue damage during freezing is that when cells are joined together within tissues, individual cells are more likely to crystallize than if the cells are kept apart. "In tissues, ice crystals are thought to be able to grow through membrane channels called gap junctions, thus allowing ice to easily propagate from cell to cell," explains senior author Dr. Jens Karlsson, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University. "But the results of the present study indicate that the mechanism of tissue cryo-injury is much more complex than was previously thought."

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Research Grants (3)

Dr. Jens Karlsson Awarded NSF Grant to Research Zebrafish Oocyte Preservation

National Science Foundation (NSF) $660,000


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Kinetics of Intracellular Ice Formation During Cryopreservation of Tissue Engineered Constructs

National Science Foundation $217,966


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Kinetics of Intracellular Ice Formation During Cryopreservation of Tissue Engineered Constructs

National Science Foundation $280,114


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Select Academic Articles (5)

Modeling the Dynamics of Acute Phase Protein Expression in Human Hepatoma Cells Stimulated by IL-6


Zhaobin Xu , Jens O. M. Karlsson and Zuyi Huang


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Effects of Intercellular Junction Protein Expression on Intracellular Ice Formation in Mouse Insulinoma Cells

Biophysical Journal

Jens O.M.Karlsson, Adam Z.Higgins


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Measurement of Intracellular Ice Formation Kinetics by High-Speed Video Cryomicroscopy

Cryopreservation and Freeze-Drying Protocols

Jens O. M. Karlsson


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Optimization of cryoprotectant loading into murine and human oocytes☆


Jens O.M.Karlsson, et al.


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C-24: The enigmatic role of intercellular junction structures in tissue freezing


Jens O.M.Karlsson


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