Research Associate Professor Cabral’s expertise in biomaterials, bioengineering, and chemical biology combines three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting and regenerative medicine to guide cells to make more complex living structures. A/P Cabral’s laboratory has the only GeSiM 3.1 Bioscaffolder in New Zealand, a 4-axis, interchangeable, 3D bioprinter equipped with Melt Electrowriting and Piezoelectric capability. Her research resides at the interface of chemistry, microbiology, and bioengineering with the goal of developing novel medical devices for various biomedical applications. She was a key researcher in the development of an FDA approved, commericialised postsurgical ENT gel, Chitogel®
Biomaterials, medical hydrogels, 3D bioprinting, tissue engineering, medical device development
Current projects include medical device development to treat hearing loss in collaboration with Prof. Peter Thorne, Department of Physiology, University of Auckland and Callaghan Innovation funded via a 2021 MBIE Smart Ideas grant.
Her other project is to develop 3D printed nipple areolar complex (NAC) implants for breast cancer patients as there is currently no clinically viable solution for NAC reconstruction. By developing a personalized, resorbable, vascularized NAC using additive manufacturing and custom bioreactor technologies, the hope is to promote better long term mastectomy breast reconstruction outcomes. This project is in collaboration with the University of Maryland, USA, Professor John Fisher, Department Chair, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and funded via a Catalyst Seed grant.
She was recently awarded the 2023 Translation Research Grant to 3D print a medical device to enhance treatment of precancerous cervical lesions in collaboration with Dr. Noelyn Hung (Pathology), and Dr. Adel Mekhail (gynecologist, SDHB).