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Research FellowGabriella Brown

BSc(Biotechnology)(Chalmers), MSc(Biotechnology)(Chalmers), PhD(Otago)

Email gabriella.lindberg@otago.ac.nz

Working at the interface of molecular research, biology, chemistry, material science and technology, Dr Lindberg's research is in pursuit of a blueprint to bridge the gap between engineered and native tissues.

Dr Lindberg is currently a Research Fellow in the Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) Group, University of Otago, Christchurch. Her expertise lies in engineering and integrating structure-function relationships by developing bioresponsive hydrogel biomaterials and applying 3D-biofabrication technologies to replace and/or regenerate damaged and diseased cartilage or bone tissues.

Research interests

Dr Lindberg's research is focused on the design of cell-instructive photo-polymerisable hydrogel bioinks and bioresins that mimics the native architectural organisation and biological niche, capable of adapting to the constantly changing micro-environment as the new tissue is forming.  She further strives to apply these technologies to study how cells respond to being the engineers themselves compared to environmental signals dictated by researchers.

The development of smart chemical and biological toolkits for tissue engineering applications may provide us with a better understanding of cell-material and cell-extra cellular matrix interactions to help engineering constructs with sufficient tissue quality that further replicates the native 3D organisation.

With only 3 years post-PhD, Dr. Lindberg has secured $615k in contestable funding as PI, including the prestigious Emerging Researcher First Grant ($250k). She furthermore holds a provisional patent and is named investigator on grant funded projects worth over $2.7M.

Her research is part of larger collaborative projects involving both national and international collaborators in the likes of Germany, Netherlands and Australia.

Research projects

Bioinks for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

We explore the design of cell-instructive hydrogels for promotion of functional cartilage tissue in vitro through the identification of controllable chemistry systems and biocomplex matrix components. The combination of chemistry (thiol-ene and methacryloyl), biological (heparin, Vitreous humor, gelatin and hyaluronic acid) and physical (photo-initiating systems and macromolecules) elegantly widened the biofabrication window, establishing structure to function relationships and enhancing cartilage differentiation.

3D-bioassembly of clinically relevant orthopaedic replacement grafts

We explore a roadmap for scalable, reproducible, automated, large-scale biofabrication of tissue engineered products with a high level of cell–cell interaction in combination with structurally reinforcing scaffolds using bottom-up modular 3D-bioassembly technologies.

Oxygen Control in 3D-bioprinted osteochondral constructs

We explore how oxygen can serve as both a metabolic substrate and as a signaling molecule by incorporating biological and synthetic oxygen releasing/generating compounds into bioinks to gain spatial-temporal control over oxygen concentrations.

Personalised 3D Tissue Models: Reducing Health Inequities in Cartilage Therapies

We explore demographic inequities by screening and identifying donor variability and subsequently developing smart, patient-specific, 3D-models and bioimplants to counteract reduced cell regeneration potential in both healthy and diseased osteoarthritic environments.

Roles

  • Affiliate Investigator, Centre of Research Excellence in Medical Technologies
  • Affiliate Investigator, Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Diversity

Professional affiliations

  • Early career representative – Australasian Society for Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering (ASBTE)
  • Special Topic Editor: Bioengineering (MDPI)

Awards and distinctions

  • 2021-2023, The University of Otago Health Sciences Division, Career Development Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021-2023
  • 2020, Best emerging/mid-career scientist presentation, bioengineering showcase, Online via Duendin, Christchurch, and Wellington New Zealand.
  • 2019, First Place Young Investigator Award, International Society of Biofabrication.
  • 2019, CMDT award, The Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) and Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2017, Shortlisted for SYIS oral presentation award, oral presentation, European Chapter Meeting of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society, Davos, Switzerland.
  • 2017, Best student presentation award, 25th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Canberra, Australia.
  • 2017, Integrity award, University of Otago Christchurch annual academic welcome, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • 2016, Rutherford best poster award, MedTech in Christchurch symposium, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • 2016, Best student presentation award, University of Otago Christchurch open day symposium, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • 2015, Best tissue engineering poster award, International Conference on Biofabrication, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Student supervision

PhD Candidate Axel Norberg
Supervisors Prof Tim Woodfield, Prof Gary Hooper, Dr Khoon Lim, Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Oxygen control in 3D-bioprinted cartilage constructs

PhD Candidate Bram Soliman
Supervisors Dr Khoon Lim, Dr Gabriella Lindberg and Prof Tim Woodfield
Topic Spatial and Temporal Control over Tissue-specific Hydrogel Platforms for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering and Biofabrication

Summer student internship Valery Liu
Supervisors Prof Tim Woodfield and Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Donor variation and optimisation of 3D cell culture system for cartilage tissue regeneration

Completed students

Master Candidate Emilcar Contreras
Supervisors Prof Tim Woodfield, Dr Gabriella Lindberg, Mr. Bram Soliman and Dr Khoon Lim,
Topic 3D-Bioassembly of Bioactive Bone Constructs

Master Candidate Laura Veenendaal
Supervisors Dr Khoon Lim, Prof Tim Woodfield, and Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Vitreous humor as a bioinstructive biomaterial for cartilage tissue engineering applications

Master Candidate Ines Weissenbacher
Supervisors Prof Tim Woodfield, Dr Gabriella Lindberg, and Dr Khoon Lim,
Topic Optimisation and Evaluation of Light Curable Hydrogels as Tissue Modules for 3D Bioassembly of Cartilage

Summer student internship James Swan
Supervisors Dr Khoon Lim, Prof Tim Woodfield, and Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Optimisation of oxygen gradients in 3D-bioprinted cartilage constructs

Visiting PhD student Ezgi Bakirci
Local Supervisors Dr Khoon Lim, Prof Tim Woodfield, and Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Nanoscale 3D-bioassembly of clinically relevant orthopaedic replacement grafts

Visiting PhD student Kai-Hung Yang
Local Supervisors Dr Khoon Lim, Prof Tim Woodfield, and Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Topic Effect of photo-initiators on polymerisation of thiol-ene clickable gelatin bioinks

Publications

Lindberg, G. C., Norberg, A., Soliman, B., Jüngst, T., Lim, K., Hooper, G., … Woodfield, T. B. (2024). Fabrication of gelatin-heparin based cartilage models: Enhancing spatial complexity through refinement of stiffness properties and oxygen availability. Frontiers in Biomaterials Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fbiom.2024.1331032

Soliman, B. G., Longoni, A., Major, G. S., Lindberg, G. C. J., Choi, Y. S., Zhang, Y. S., Woodfield, T. B. F., & Lim, K. S. (2023). Harnessing macromolecular chemistry to design hydrogel micro- and macro-environments [Review]. Macromolecular Bioscience, 2300457. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/mabi.202300457

Willerth, S. M., Giles, J. W., & Lindberg, G. C. J. (2023). Novel biomaterial strategies for osteogenic treatments. Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology, 11, 1137760. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2023.1137760

Soliman, B. G., Longoni, A., Wang, M., Li, W., Bernal, P. N., Cianciosi, A., Lindberg, G. C. J., … Woodfield, T. B. F., … Lim, K. S. (2023). Programming delayed dissolution into sacrificial bioinks for dynamic temporal control of architecture within 3D-bioprinted constructs. Advanced Functional Materials, 2210521. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/adfm.202210521

Gawlitta, D., Longoni, A., Pennings, I., Lindberg, G., Woodfield, T., Lim, K., & Rosenberg, A. (2022). Vitreous humor as instructive biomaterial to support mesenchymal stem cell hypertrophy and endochondral ossification. Tissue Engineering Part A, 28(Suppl. 1), 1432. doi: 10.1089/ten.tea.2022.29025.abstracts

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