Professor Andrea O'Connor

  • Room: Level: 01 Room: 104
  • Building: 203 Bouverie St
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • 3D printing
  • Antimicrobial materials
  • Biofilms
  • Biomaterials (Biodegradable materials, scaffolds, hydrogels)
  • Medical devices (Implants)
  • Tissue engineering


Professor Andrea O’Connor, BE(Hons), PhD, FIChemE is the Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and leads the Tissue Engineering Group at the University of Melbourne. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995-96. Her research is focussed on design, synthesis and fabrication of biomaterials, porous materials and antimicrobial nanomaterials. She is particularly interested in strategies for scale-up of tissue engineering including vascularisation, and design of antimicrobial materials for medical implants. She has published over 80 journal articles, co-authored the chapter on Tissue Engineering for the major reference work ‘Plastic Surgery’ edited by Neligan and Gurtner, lectured on tissue engineering and biofabrication at the Bayreuth International Summer School, Germany, and was a finalist in the 2017 Graeme Clark Institute HealthTech Innovation Challenge. Andrea also led the engineering team on the world-first Neopec clinical trial of breast reconstruction using tissue engineering, showing proof-of-principle of tissue engineering of large volumes of well vascularised fat tissue. She collaborates with a range of hospitals, medical research institutes and medical device companies to improve existing products, develop new devices and solve clinical problems.

Recent publications

  1. Khalid A, Norello RS, Abraham AN, Tetienne J, Karle T, Lui E, Xia K, Tran P, O'Connor A, Mann BG, De Boer R, He Y, Ng AMC, Djurisic AB, Shukla R, Tomljenovic-Hanic S. Biocompatible and Biodegradable Magnesium Oxide Nanoparticles with In Vitro Photostable Near-Infrared Emission: Short-Term Fluorescent Markers. NANOMATERIALS. 2019, Vol. 9, Issue 10. DOI: 10.3390/nano9101360
  2. Burger S, Lubansky A, O'Connor A. Continuous production of hierarchically porous silica beads using co-axial flow. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials. Elsevier Science. 2019, Vol. 288. DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2019.109612
  3. Huang T, Holden J, Heath D, O'Brien-Simpson N, O'Connor A. Engineering highly effective antimicrobial selenium nanoparticles through control of particle size. Nanoscale. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2019, Vol. 11, Issue 31. DOI: 10.1039/c9nr04424h
  4. O'Connell C, Onofrillo C, Duchi S, Li X, Zhang Y, Tian P, Lu L, Trengove A, Quigley A, Gambhir S, Khansari A, Mladenovska T, O'Connor A, Di Bella C, Choong P, Wallace G. Evaluation of sterilisation methods for bio-ink components: gelatin, gelatin methacryloyl, hyaluronic acid and hyaluronic acid methacryloyl. BIOFABRICATION. Institute of Physics Publishing. 2019, Vol. 11, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/ab0b7c
  5. Shakouri-Motlagh A, O'Connor A, Kalionis B, Heath D. Improved ex vivo expansion of mesenchymal stem cells on solubilized acellular fetal membranes. JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH PART A. Wiley-Liss. 2019, Vol. 107, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.36557
  6. Jafari J, Han X-L, Palmer J, Tran P, O'Connor A. Remote Control in Formation of 3D Multicellular Assemblies Using Magnetic Forces. ACS BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING. American Chemical Society. 2019, Vol. 5, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00297
  7. Atran P, O'Brien-Simpson N, Palmer J, Bock N, Reynolds E, Webster TJ, Deva A, Morrison W, O'Connor A. Selenium nanoparticles as anti-infective implant coatings for trauma orthopedics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis: in vitro and in vivo assessment. International Journal of Nanomedicine. Dove Medical Press. 2019, Vol. 14. DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S197737
  8. Karimi F, Thombare V, Hutton C, O'Connor A, Qiao G, Heath D. Beyond RGD; nanoclusters of syndecan- and integrin-binding ligands synergistically enhance cell/material interactions. BIOMATERIALS. Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 187. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.10.002
  9. Onofrillo C, Duchi S, O'Connell C, Blanchard R, O'Connor A, Scott M, Wallace G, Choong P, Di Bella C. Biofabrication of human articular cartilage: a path towards the development of a clinical treatment. BIOFABRICATION. Institute of Physics Publishing. 2018, Vol. 10, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/aad8d9
  10. Biswas D, O'Brien-Simpson N, Reynolds E, O'Connor A, Tran P. Comparative study of novel in situ decorated porous chitosan-selenium scaffolds and porous chitosan-silver scaffolds towards antimicrobial wound dressing application. JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE. Academic Press. 2018, Vol. 515. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.01.007
  11. Karimi F, O'Connor A, Qiao G, Heath D. Integrin Clustering Matters: A Review of Biomaterials Functionalized with Multivalent Integrin-Binding Ligands to Improve Cell Adhesion, Migration, Differentiation, Angiogenesis, and Biomedical Device Integration. ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS. Wiley - V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. 2018, Vol. 7, Issue 12. DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201701324
  12. Herson MR, Hamilton K, White J, Alexander D, Poniatowski S, O'Connor A, Werkmeister JA. Interaction of preservation methods and radiation sterilization in human skin processing, with particular insight on the impact of the final water content and collagen disruption. Part I: process validation, water activity and collagen changes in tissues cryopreserved or processed using 50, 85 or 98% glycerol solutions. CELL AND TISSUE BANKING. Springer Verlag. 2018, Vol. 19, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1007/s10561-018-9694-1
  13. Gu D, Tan S, O'Connor A, Qiao G. On-Demand Cascade Release of Hydrophobic Chemotherapeutics from a Multicomponent Hydrogel System. ACS BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 4, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.8b00166
  14. Kusuma G, Yang M, Brennecke S, O'Connor A, Kalionis B, Heath D. Transferable Matrixes Produced from Decellularized Extracellular Matrix Promote Proliferation and Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Facilitate Scale-Up. ACS BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 4, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.7b00747
  15. Biswas D, Tran P, Tallon Galdeano C, O'Connor A. Combining mechanical foaming and thermally induced phase separation to generate chitosan scaffolds for soft tissue engineering. JOURNAL OF BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE-POLYMER EDITION. VSP. 2017, Vol. 28, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1080/09205063.2016.1262164

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile