Regenerative Medicine Utrecht

Internships for Master students

CReaTE group, New Zealand

The CReaTE group consists of a team of multi-disciplinary researchers, such as bioengineers, biologists and clinicians working at the interface of cell-biology, biomaterials science and engineering. The research will take place at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest and top university, recently rated 5 plus for quality in 2017 by QS Stars http://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/research/create/. For more information, please contact Assoc Prof Tim Woodfield (tim.woodfield@otago.ac.nz) or Dr Khoon Lim (khoon.lim@otago.ac.nz).

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Tim Woodfield, Prof Gary Hooper, Dr Khoon Lim

List of projects:

1: Bioassembly of pre-vascularised thick bone construct.
The project focuses on combining a range of biofabrication technologies and biomaterials developed in the CReaTE group to assemble large bone constructs embedded with vasculature networks. The technologies include microfluidics, photo-polymerisation, automated-assembly of microspheres, as well as 3D bioprinting of cell-laden hydrogels.

2) Development of new photo-initiators for 3D bioprinting of tissue engineering constructs.

Photo-polymerisation strategies have been extensively used in 3D bioprinting to obtain cell-laden constructs of high shape fidelity, as well as organised architecture to recapitulate the native micro-environment. However, several limitations such as high cytotoxicity, low molar absorptivity and restricted light penetration still persist for current photo-initiators. We aim to synthesise or develop new photo-initiators to overcome these limitations.

3) Making tissue engineered cartilage from eyeballs.

The eyeballs consist of a set of biological polymers that are physiologically similar to cartilage. This project will examine the feasibility of using proteins and polysaccharides extracted from eyeballs as biomaterials to promote chondrogenesis of stem cells encapsulated within tissue engineering matrices.

4) Smart delivery of growth factors for tissue engineering 

Growth factors play a key role in promoting tissue regeneration and maintaining homeostasis of the tissues or organs. This project will look into the use of a range of synthetic polymers developed in the CReaTE group for delivery of growth factors for a number of applications, such as vascularisation, bone regenerative and nerve repair.

5) Engineering 3D cancer models for drug discovery

3D cell culture models are physiologically more relevant to the native tumour micro-environment than 2D models, and hence should be implemented for drug screening applications. This project aims to develop 3D ovarian and breast cancer models using 3D bioprinting or bioassembly approaches established in the CReaTE group for high throughput drug screening applications.