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Study Bioengineering at Otago

The Centre for Bioengineering and Nanomedicine at the University of Otago performs cutting‑edge research.

It also gives postgraduate students and industry the opportunity to conduct bioengineering and nanomedicine research with world‑class scientists.

Our vision is to be an interdisciplinary, pure and applied research‑led centre with an international reputation for excellence.

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Bioengineering at Otago

What is bioengineering?

Bioengineering is rooted in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and the life sciences. It is a multi‑disciplinary approach to the systematic, quantitative, and integrative methods of developing solutions to problems important in biology, medical research, and clinical proactive and population studies.

A PhD within the Centre can be highly rewarding as the projects involve applying basic science to real problems. PhD students can either enroll at the University of Otago or a collaborating institution. We also offer Master of Applied Science and Master of Science degrees in Bioengineering, as well as Bioengineering endorsements for the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science. Candidates are based in one or more departments within the Division of Sciences or Health Sciences.

Our academics and clinicians are active researchers and provide learning based on the latest research across four of the bioengineering activities.

Research profile

The Centre for Bioengineering and Nanomedicine is at the forefront of research into biomaterials, molecular and biomedical imaging, point-of-care technologies, and regenerative medicine.

We have diverse strengths across physical, engineering, and biomedical sciences that enable excellence in research.


Research into biomaterials involves the precise engineering of novel materials including molecularly engineered biomaterials, and the fabrication of biomaterials into medical devices and technology for biomedical applications (human and animal). It encompasses elements of medicine, materials science, and tissue engineering.


The MARS group are world leaders in spectral X‑ray technology for molecular imaging of clinical models of human disease. The goal of our research is to work with industrial partners to develop a commercial spectral scanner for molecular imaging. It has the potential to advance diagnosis and treatment of major health diseases in new ways, by detecting spectral (colour) differences in tissues, and measuring markers of disease and response to treatment.

Nanomedicine and diagnostics

Our research develops innovative molecular medicines and diagnostics for hard to treat conditions. Employing modalities such as RNA medicines, CRISPR/Cas based approaches and small molecules to address human and animal health conditions such as cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and infectious diseases and rare genetic disorders.

Point-of-care technologies

Innovation at the point of care employs diagnostic and therapeutic medical wearables and telemedicine to optimise monitoring and empower clinicians to make better-informed decisions remotely and also at the bedside. Our expertise in biomedical engineering, computer science, and digital modelling revolutionise patient care and save lives.

Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine (RM) and tissue engineering (TE) 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. We are also researching their application in translating cell-based therapies to the clinic.


BIOE papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
BIOE401 2024 Research Methods 20 Full Year
BIOE403 2024 Bioengineering Design 20 Full Year
BIOE404 2024 Medical Devices and Technology 20 Full Year
BIOE405 2024 Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells 20 Full Year
BIOE480 2024 Research Project 40 Full Year
BIOE495 2024 Master's Thesis Preparation 40 Full Year

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