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Acellular strategy for tissue repair

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine (Christchurch)
Dr Steven Cui, Dr Khoon Lim, Professor Chris Charles, Professor Tim Woodfield


At Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) research group, University of Otago (Christchurch), we investigate new techniques and technologies for tissue repair. Acellular strategy (also known as stem cell-free therapy) has gained popularity due to its advantages over stem cell-based therapy.

This project will investigate the use of different biomaterial strategies, including synthetic stem cells and hydrogels, to deliver biological factors for cartilage/bone and cardiac tissue repair. One of the key focuses is developing a minimally invasive surgical approach to deliver extracellular vesicles for myocardial infarction (AKA heart attack) treatment, working closely with the cardiologists from Christchurch Heart Institute. You will work within our multidisciplinary research team of engineers, material scientists, biologists, cardiac physiologists, orthopaedic clinicians and cardiologists.

Key skills required

  • Applicants should hold an Undergraduate and/or Master’s degree in Cell Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biomaterials or related disciplines in engineering or biological sciences, and preferably should have an “A” grade average (or equivalent GPA)
  • Excellent communication skills, intrinsic motivation and independence are essential
  • Knowledge of cell and tissue culture is required
  • Experience in cartilage or cardiac tissue regeneration would be highly valued
  • Experience and knowledge in growth factor or extracellular vesicle based therapy is desirable
  • Experience with experimental lab work and/or biomaterial synthesis, as well as animal models, would be advantageous

Opportunities offered

  • Opportunity to work with the Christchurch Heart Institute, industry partners in New Zealand, and medical research institutions in China, the USA, and Australia.
  • Potential overseas exchange opportunities to work with world-leading experts in cardiac and cartilage tissue engineering (subject to border controls easing).

To apply

Please send the following documents to

  • A detailed CV including the names of two referees
  • A covering letter highlighting your research experience
  • Copy of your undergraduate / postgraduate academic transcripts and degree certificates


The research will take place at the University of Otago (Christchurch), a multi-disciplinary campus recognised for its outstanding reputation for combining basic science and clinical health research. Christchurch is a vibrant city based on the coast and close to the Southern Alps of New Zealand, with ample opportunities for outdoor activities locally including mountain biking, surfing, hiking and skiing.

For more information on the CReaTE Group, facilities, staff, students and projects, visit the CReaTE Group website:

Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering


Steven Cui
Tel   +64 3 378 6011