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Friday 28 May 2021 1:47pm

Dr Gabriella Lindberg presenting about health inequities in cartilage therapies image
Dr Gabriella Lindberg presenting about health inequities at a recent research fund raiser event.

Dr Gabriella Lingberg's research efforts are to be boosted by $150,000 funding over 24 months, thanks to the Health Research Council's (HRC) Explorer Grant. These grants support transformative research ideas that have a good chance of making a revolutionary change to how we manage New Zealander's health.

Lindberg is using HRC's support to refine a new bioimplant technology for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), a refinement that could address current inequities in the surgical options available to patients of different ethnicities.

In recent times, surgical interventions for OA have started to transform from total joint replacements to implanting bioimplants made by using patients' own cells combined with 3D-printed biomaterials.

OA impacts over 10% of New Zealanders, and for complex reasons Māori patients are more likely to present for treatment with more advanced stages of the condition. “This means that some parts of the population are excluded from newer bioimplant therapies”, says Lindberg. “Currently there's a much lower success rate of these new strategies for patients who have advanced OA. In this project we will study differences in cellular performance between Māori and non-Māori patients and then we aim to develop a personalised 3D-tissue model to optimise bioimplants for people with advanced OA.”

Career development reasons will see Lindberg hand over the role of Principle Investigator to Professor Tim Woodfield, but she will remain an important influence and contributor throughout the life of the project.

Lindberg works with Professor Woodfield in his Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) research group, which is a part of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine.

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