BioMATE - Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering - The Centre for Bioengineering - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

BioMATE - Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

In the last two decades, with the combined advancement of biological sciences and materials engineering, the new field of “tissue engineering” has evolved. With the recent rapid developments in these converging fields, the potential market worldwide for tissue-engineered products is estimated at nearly €100 billion per year. Tissue engineering (TE) strategies which aim to combine patient’s own cells, biodegradable scaffolds and growth factors may offer considerable advantages over current surgical interventions used to repair or regenerate damaged tissues following trauma or disease.

Tissues have complex three-dimensional (3D) geometries and highly organised internal architectures which cannot be simply emulated by cells maintained in two-dimensions. Porous scaffolds are central to tissue engineering strategies because they provide a 3D framework for delivering reparative cells or regenerative factors in an organised manner to repair or regenerate damaged tissues. While these tissue engineering strategies have shown promising results, a number of challenges need to be overcome before these strategies are widely accepted clinically.

Our BioMATE group has research focused in the following areas:

  • Biomaterials Engineering
    • Design and processing of polymeric, ceramic, metal alloys materials
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
    • Cartilage
    • Bone
    • Neural/spinal cord
  • Advanced scaffold design and bio-manufacturing
    • Solid free-form fabrication of porous scaffolds
    • Mechanical analysis
    • Pore architecture optimisation and modelling
  • Novel metal alloys for bone interfacing implants
  • Electrospinning of biopolymer nanofibres
  • Orthopaedic biomechanics
    • Total joint replacement
    • Medical device design

3D desktop fibre deposition device (left) and example of rapid manufacturing process for producing customised 3D biomaterial scaffolds with designed porous architecture (right)


Dr. Tim Woodfield

Dr. Mark Staiger

PhD projects - funding available

Tissue Engineering in Spinal Cord Injury (PDF, 131 KB)

Advanced Design and Topology Optimisation of Porous Bone-Interfacing Implants (PDF, 361 KB)


Hi-tech lower back pain remedies focus of UC/US collaboration
(12 March)

Centre for Bioengineering researchers Dr. Mark Staiger and Dr. Tim Woodfield, in collaboration with visiting Professor Sue James, are hoping to develop an artificial implant to ease chronic back pain.

Related Institutions

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Musculoskeletal Medicine – Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Christchurch Cardioendocrine Research Group (CCRG) – Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Eskitis Research Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Institute for Biomedical Technology (BMTi), Twente University , The Netherlands

  • The Centre for Bioengineering
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Phone +64 3 364 2987 ext 43210
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