Study level

Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Sean Powell
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (AQF)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Mia Woodruff
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Biofabrication and tissue engineering seeks to create 3D scaffolds containing cells to heal defected tissue.

People suffering from tissue loss often have to have autografts (where tissue is transferred from one part of their body to the other, leading to 2 sites of surgery and associated morbididy)

We use scanning modelling and 3D printing to create 3D scaffolds that can perfectly fit the defect site and may contain cells or growth factors to stimulate new tissue formation -  this circumvents the need to use autografts.

Research activities

In this project you will:

  • 3D print a range of scaffold shapes and sizes
  • seed bone cells onto the scaffolds
  • assess how well the cells attach, spread and begin turning into new bone tissue.

You will tailor the parameters, such as pore size, and observe the effects on the cells using the following methods:

  • scaffold fabrication
  • cell culture
  • microscopy
  • cell culture assays

You will be working in the large, supportive and multidisciplinary Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology team.


The outcome of this work will demonstrate whether pore size influences how well we can regenerate bone tissue. This will be supported by confocal microscope images, cell metabolism assays and quantitative analysis.

Skills and experience

This project will suit you if you wish to pursue a higher degree in research. Completing this research project will guarantee a place in our team for a final year capstone project when the time comes.

To be considered for this project, we expect:

  • enthusiasm
  • punctuality
  • a desire to be part of a high performing team
  • a willingness to read literature and ask questions.

All laboratory skills will be taught as you progress. You will be working alongside other team members.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor Professor Mia Woodruff for more information.