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Contact Details

+64 3 479 7456 or Mob +64 21 139 7912
Associate Professor
Department of Oral Rehabilitation
BSC(Hons) MSc PhD (Polymer, Biomaterials Science and Engineering)
Research summary
Biomaterials, biofabrication, medical devices, tissue engineering and regeneration
  • APPS 201: Materials: Properties and Applications
  • BIOE 401: Research Methods
  • BIOE 403: Bioengineering Design
  • BIOE 404: Medical Devices and Technology
  • BIOE 480/495: Research Projects
  • Medtech CoRE
  • New Zealand Controlled Release Society (NZCRS)
  • Canterbury Medical Research Society (CMRS), New Zealand
  • International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
  • Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (ASBTE)
Regeneration of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ tissues including recent research activities: dental pulp, pulp-dentine, and tooth tissues regeneration


Research into biomaterials involves the precise engineering of novel materials including molecularly engineered biomaterials (i.e. engineered therapeutics), fabrication of biomaterials into medical devices, and technology for biomedical applications (human and animal). In addition to having specific physical, mechanical, and biological properties, biomaterials must be biocompatible with healing and tissue regeneration abilities. The research, therefore, encompasses elements of medicine, material science and tissue engineering.

Innovative materials can drive the creation of new products (e.g. medical devices and technology) in many life-science sectors. This makes it a crucial pillar for engineered therapeutics. Thus, the biomaterials and bioengineering team have sound expertise and experiences in multifaceted applied and pure research and commercial sector partnership. Located within the Centre for Bioengineering and Nanomedicine (Dunedin hub), Faculty of Dentistry, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, this research focuses on materials / biomaterials (including dental biomaterials), regenerative medicine, stem cells and their relationships with humans.

Research includes:

  • Skin and dermal tissue regeneration
  • Bone substitutes and bone ceramics
  • Dental biomaterials and bone grafts
  • Intervertebral Disc (IVD) replacement
  • Heart valve leaflet
  • Medical gels
  • Drug-eluting medical sutures
  • Neural tissue regeneration

Granted patents:

  • Wound care medical products containing wool keratin, US patent No. 7732574 and European patent No. EP1694370
  • Biocomposite biomaterials containing biopolymer wool keratin, US patent No. 7767756
  • Bone void fillers and methods of making the same, US Patent 8142807
  • Porous keratin construct and method of making the same, US Patent 8124735 and European patent: EP2099437 A2
  • Porous Keratin constructs, wound healing assembles and method using the same, US patent US/2008 0317826 A1
  • Nanocomposite negative photoresists for next-generation Lithography, US Patent No. 7049044 B2

Visit our website for more information:
Centre for Bioengineering and Nanomedicine: Biomaterials


Islam, M. T., Al Sharmin, A., Laing, R., McConnell, M., & Ali, M. A. (2024). Bead-free electrospun nanofibrous scaffold made of PVOH/keratin/chitosan using a Box-Behnken experimental design and in vitro studies. Polysaccharides, 5, 112-128. doi: 10.3390/polysaccharides5020009 Journal - Research Article

Chandravarnan, P., Agyei, D., & Ali, A. (2024). The prevalence and concentrations of mycotoxins in rice sourced from markets: A global description. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 104394. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.tifs.2024.104394 Journal - Research Article

Chandravarnan, P., Agyei, D., & Ali, A. (2024). Innovative strategies to decontaminate ochratoxin A in food and feed. In D. Nagaraju, S. M. Yanjarappa, P. N. Achar & A. M. Vaya (Eds.), Anti-mycotoxin strategies for food and feed. (pp. 59-82). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781394160839.ch3 Chapter in Book - Research

Ali, A., & Deng, C. (2023). Bioabsorbable surgical suture infused with curcumin biomolecule as drug delivery device [Invited]. Proceedings of the New Zealand Controlled Release Society (NZCRS) Symposium. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Bhowmik, S., Agyei, D., & Ali, A. (2023). Smart hydrogel film potential for active food packaging. Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) Conference : Food in a Changing World. S02. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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