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Regenerative medicine


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

Visit our Partnerships page for more about our partnerships and collaborations.

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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) 
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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

Postdoctoral researchers and Research Assistants

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

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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

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Veenendaal, L., Longoni, A., Hooper, G. J., Lim, K. S., Woodfield, T. B. F., & Lindberg, G. C. J. (2022). 3D-bioassembly of VH-spheroids for cartilage regeneration: In vitro evaluation of chondrogenesis, fusion and lateral integration. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 2200882. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/admi.202200882

Woodfield, T. (2022, September). Hybrid biofabrication and bioassembly strategies for engineering functional musculoskeletal tissues. Keynote presentation at the International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF) Conference, Montecatini Terme, Italy.

Bolam, S., Konar, S., Zhu, M., Workman, J., Lim, K., Woodfield, T., … Musson, D. (2022). Enhancement of rotator cuff healing with a combined growth factor (IGF-1, TGF-β1 and PTH) hydrogel in a rat chronic rotator cuff tear model. Proceedings of the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting (ICORS). 51. Retrieved from

Man, K., Alcala, C., Mekhileri, N. V., Lim, K. S., Jiang, L.-H., Woodfield, T. B. F., & Yang, X. B. (2022). GelMA hydrogel reinforced with 3D printed PEGT/PBT scaffolds for supporting epigenetically-activated human bone marrow stromal cells for bone repair. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 13, 41. doi: 10.3390/jfb13020041

Shum, J. M., Gadomski, B. C., Tredinnick, S. J., Fok, W., Fernandez, J., Nelson, B., … Hooper, G., Puttlitz, C., … Woodfield, T. B. F. (2022). Enhanced bone formation in locally-optimised, low-stiffness additive manufactured titanium implants: An in silico and in vivo tibial advancement study. Acta Biomaterialia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2022.04.006