Thursday 16 May 2019 12:41pm
Otago researcher, Dr Gabriella Lindberg, has been identified as an emerging research leader in the field of bioink development. These materials are used in the 3D printing of live tissues, and potentially in the future, for making complex biological structures and organs.
The Health Research Council of New Zealand has awarded her close to $250k to support her research into building oxygen-delivery capacity into bioinks, using smart biomolecules and haemoglobin.
Access to oxygen is one of the current constraints for cell viability in engineered tissue. Currently it is mainly present through diffusion, which limits the size and complexity of constructed tissues. If Lindberg can crack the oxygen-delivery problem, she has ahead of her the promise of manufacturing customized, three-dimensionally complex replacement tissues for osteoarthritic patients.
She plans to use a layer-by-layer placement of cell-laden, oxygen-rich hydrogels to make orthopaedic replacement grafts. Success here will support the possibilities of transferring her bioink technologies to the development of other tissue types.
Emerging Researcher First Grants are awarded to a health researchers who are at the beginning of their research career with a clear development path, and who are working in a strongly supportive environment. Lindberg is supported in her research by her colleagues in the Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) research group, where she completed her PhD and is now employed as a Postgraduate Research Fellow.
The group is a part of the University of Otago’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine based at Christchurch city hospital campus. The association helps to keep Lindberg’s research-feet firmly on the ground, since the Department has strong links to clinicians working at the hospital.