Tim Woodfield thumbProfessor Tim Woodfield.

Tissue Engineering (TE) and Regenerative Medicine (RM) combine a patient's own cells with biodegradable scaffolds and growth factors. These therapies may offer considerable advantages over current surgical interventions used to repair or regenerate damaged tissues following trauma or disease.

The CReaTE group (Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering Group), consists of a multidisciplinary research team led by Professor Tim Woodfield, and is working at the interface of cell-biology, biomaterials science and engineering.

Using advanced 3D scaffolds and in-vitro culture techniques, combined with adult human stem cells, our group is attempting to identify the complex cellular environments controlling tissue growth in 3D. We are also researching their application in translating cell-based therapies to the clinic.


Professor Tim Woodfield
Tel +64 3 378 6114
Email tim.woodfield@otago.ac.nz

Visit our Industry Partnerships company links below for more details about our partners and collaborators.


Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

  • Articular cartilage repair from clinically-relevant human cell sources
  • Novel methods to enhance mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and tissue quality
  • In vitro 3D culture models for mimicking native tissue organisation in vivo
  • CT imaging of cartilage and engineered tissues
  • Guided cell growth for neural / spinal cord regeneration

Advanced scaffold design and bio-manufacturing

  • Solid free-form fabrication of porous scaffolds
  • 3D plotting and tissue assembly
  • 3D extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogel models to control cell function
  • Pore architecture optimisation and modelling

Orthopaedic medical devices

  • Novel metal alloys for bone interfacing implants
  • Medical device design
  • Total joint replacement and clinical outcomes (NZ National Joint Registry)

More about regenerative medicine capabilities and equipment

Our people

The team, led from University of Otago Christchurch campus, consists of mechanical engineers, clinicians, process engineers, mathematicians and surgeons.

Regenerative medicine research lead

Professor Tim Woodfield (Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Christchurch)

Lead researchers

  • Dr Gabriella Lindberg (CReaTE, Orthopaedics, Christchurch - Research Fellow)
  • Dr Bram Soliman, macro- and microenvironment of engineered tissues, (CReaTE, Orthopaedics, Christchurch)
  • Dr Steven Cui
  • Dr Alessia Longoni, bone and cartilage tissue engineering, stem cell biology (CReaTE, Orthopaedics, Christchurch)
  • Dr Lyn Wise (Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dunedin)
  • Professor Warwick Duncan, Periodontology and Dental Implantology (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Associate Professor Dawn Coates, Periodontal health and disease (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Professor Don Schwass, Dentist (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Professor Paul Cooper, Oral microbiology and antifungal drug resistance (Dean Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Dr Sarah Diermeier, novel therapeutic targets in cancer, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of oncogene and tumour suppressor regulation, (Biochemistry, Dunedin)
  • Professor Richard Cannon, Oral microbiology and antifungal drug resistance (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Professor Mauro Farella, Orthodontics, masticatory muscle physiology, orofacial pain (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Associate Professor Azam Ali, Biomaterials, biofabrication, medical devices, tissue engineering and regeneration (Dentistry, Dunedin)
  • Associate Professor Jaydee Cabral, 3D bioprinting (Chemistry, Dunedin)
  • Dr Andrew Clarkson, post-stroke neuroprotection and regeneration (Anatomy, Dunedin)
  • Professor Stephen Robertson, Genetic disorders affecting children (Womens and Childrens Health, Dunedin)
  • Professor Chris Charles, cardiovascular, Endocrine and renal physiology, (Christchurch Heart Institute)
  • Dr Kirsty Danielson, extracellular vesicles, RNA plasma biomarkers, (Surgery and Anesthesia, Wellington)
  • Professor Haxby Abbott, clinical epidemiology, outcomes research, and health technology assessment, (Surgical Sciences, Dunedin)
  • Te Anga Kaikōiwi o Aotearoa New Zealand Osteoarthritis Research Network, (University of Otago)
  • Live Cell and Tissue Network, (University of Otago)
  • Māori & Indigenous Health Institute, (University of Otago)

External Collaborations

  • Rachael Perret, engineering T lymphocytes, cancer cell proteins (Malaghan Institute, Wellington)
  • Di Siew, CMDT/MedTech Te Titoki Mataora Research Network (University of Auckland)
  • Prof Jillian Cornish, (University of Auckland)
  • Dr David Musson, musculoskeletal disease, vitro, in vivo and clinical studies, (University of Auckland)
  • Prof Christian Puttlitz, Jeremiah Easley (Colorado State University - USA)
  • Assoc Prof Jinah Jang (POSTECH - South Korea)
  • Prof Jürgen Groll, Dr Tomasz Yüngst (University of Wurzburg - Germany)
  • Prof Jos Malda, Dr Riccardo Levato, Assoc Prof Debby Gawlitta (University Medical Centre Utrecht - Netherlands)
  • Prof Jason Burdick, Jonathan H. Galarraga (Burdick Lab, University of Colorado - USA)
  • Prof Shrike Zhang (Harvard/Brigham & Womens Hospital - USA)
  • Prof Richard Oreffo, Dr Gianluca Cidonio (USouthampton - UK)
  • Prof Milica Radisic, Assist Prof Boyang Zhang (University of Toronto - CA)
  • Assoc Prof Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina (University of New South Wales - Australia)
  • Prof Justin Cooper-White (University of Queensland - Australia)
  • Prof Dietmar Hutmacher, Prof Travis Klein, Prof Mia Woodruff (Queensland University of Technology - Australia)

Industry Partnerships

A large number of postgraduate students have worked alongside our researchers to achieve their qualifications.
Visit our Regenerative Medicine students page


Printing cartilage

Tim Woodfield thumbnailA third of the New Zealand population will be aged over 60 by 2051. This growth, combined with an elderly population living longer and more active lives, means an epidemic of degenerative joint disease is fast approaching. Dr Tim Woodfield, of the Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) Group, is working on a way to address this epidemic.
Printing cartilage, He Kitenga Horizons (University of Otago research publication)

Radio interviews with Professor Tim Woodfield



Printed Bioink + cells 1_thumbnail
Printed Bioink with cells.

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Pellet seeding.

UOtago ChCh CReaTE 3Dprinted titanium_thumbnail
3D printed Ti implant.

Cartilage bone cross section showing GAG content image
Cartilage bone cross section showing GAG content.

Fluorescence-tagged cells thumb
Fluorescence-tagged cells.


UO RegenHU RGen 200-12_thumbnail
Latest 3D bioprinter.

3D bioprinter in action thumb
3D bioprinter in action.





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