Biomaterials, bio-fabrication and regenerative medicine

Combining materials science and engineering with biology and clinical expertise, we are developing engineered tissues that can provide insights into diseases, assist in natural repair processes and ultimately enable regeneration of natural tissues.

Engineering of human tissues, such as for repair of chronic skin wounds or replacement of organs, is challenging at human scale.

We design and fabricate biomaterial constructs with tailored 3D architecture, surface characteristics, mechanical properties and optimised molecular transport properties tailored for cell culture and tissue regeneration.

Targets include wound repair, cardiovascular and blood-contacting devices, eye and breast reconstruction.

Biomaterials for medical devices and implants must meet stringent design criteria. Infection and formation of biofilms on medical implants are major challenges Novel antimicrobial nanomaterials, composites and coatings are being developed to combat drug resistant infections and biofilm formation in medical devices and regenerative medicine.

Capabilities

  • Design and fabrication of polymeric biomaterial scaffolds and devices
  • Synthesis of porous, mechanically tuneable 3D hydrogel systems for cell culture and tissue engineering
  • Development of antimicrobial nanoparticles, composites and coatings that resist biofilm formation
  • Scale up of stem cell culture
  • Physicochemical characterisation and in vitro testing of biomaterial constructs  

Impact

  • Engineering of tissue engineering chambers for the world-first Neopec clinical trial of large volume 3D soft tissue engineering, showing proof-of-principle for breast reconstruction
  • Antimicrobial materials demonstrated to be effective in vitro and in vivo against a range of bacteria including drug-resistant strains (e.g., MRSA, MRSE)

More information:

Program Leaders

Associate Professor Andrea O’Connor
a.oconnor@unimelb.edu.au

Professor Christine Wells
wells.c@unimelb.edu.au

Case study

Regeneration chamber provides space for natural tissue regrowth