Dr Brooke Farrugia

  • Room: Level: 01 Room: 124
  • Building: 203 Bouverie St
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Biomimetic materials
  • Glycosaminoglycan
  • Hyaluronidase
  • Mast Cells
  • Proteoglycan
  • Tissue Regeneration & Wound healing


Dr Farrugia has a multifaceted research background including biomaterial development and characterisation, wound healing, including in vitro models, molecular biology and glycobiology. Dr Farrugia's research interests lie in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering, through the development and characterisation of biomaterials and analysis of how they interact with various biological environments. Specifically, her research activities and interests lie in the fields of wound healing and tissue regeneration; the molecular mechanisms behind their occurrence, and the development of new therapies.

Recent publications

  1. Murray RZ, West ZE, Cowin AJ, Farrugia B. Development and use of biomaterials as wound healing therapies. BURNS & TRAUMA. 2019, Vol. 7. DOI: 10.1186/s41038-018-0139-7
  2. Thickett SC, Hamilton E, Yogeswaran G, Zetterlund PB, Farrugia B, Lord MS. Enhanced osteogenic differentiation of human fetal cartilage rudiment cells on graphene oxide-PLGA hybrid microparticles. Journal of Functional Biomaterials. MDPI AG. 2019, Vol. 10, Issue 3. DOI: 10.3390/jfb10030033
  3. Farrugia B, Mizumoto S, Lord MS, O'Grady RL, Kuchel RP, Yamada S, Whitelock JM. Hyaluronidase-4 is produced by mast cells and can cleave serglycin chondroitin sulfate chains into lower molecular weight forms. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2019, Vol. 294, Issue 30. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.008647
  4. Farrugia B, Smith SM, Shu CC, Melrose J. Spatiotemporal Expression of 3-B-3(-) and 7-D-4 Chondroitin Sulfation, Tissue Remodeling, and Attempted Repair in an Ovine Model of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.. Cartilage. Sage Publications. 2019. DOI: 10.1177/1947603519876354
  5. Hayes A, Sugahara K, Farrugia B, Whitelock JM, Caterson B, Melrose J. Biodiversity of CS-proteoglycan sulphation motifs: chemical messenger recognition modules with roles in information transfer, control of cellular behaviour and tissue morphogenesis. BIOCHEMICAL JOURNAL. Portland Press. 2018, Vol. 475. DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20170820
  6. Farrugia B, Mi Y, Kim HN, Whitelock JM, Baker SM, Wiesmann WP, Li Z, Maitz P, Lord MS. Chitosan-Based Heparan Sulfate Mimetics Promote Epidermal Formation in a Human Organotypic Skin Model. ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS. Wiley-VCH. 2018, Vol. 28, Issue 36. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201802818
  7. Farrugia B, Lord MS, Whitelock JM, Melrose J. Harnessing chondroitin sulphate in composite scaffolds to direct progenitor and stem cell function for tissue repair. BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE. R S C Publications. 2018, Vol. 6, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1039/c7bm01158j
  8. Farrugia B, Lord MS, Melrose J, Whitelock JM. The Role of Heparan Sulfate in Inflammation, and the Development of Biomimetics as Anti-Inflammatory Strategies. JOURNAL OF HISTOCHEMISTRY & CYTOCHEMISTRY. Histochemical Society. 2018, Vol. 66, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1369/0022155417740881
  9. Brown GCJ, Lim KS, Farrugia B, Hooper GJ, Woodfield TBF. Covalent Incorporation of Heparin Improves Chondrogenesis in Photocurable Gelatin-Methacryloyl Hydrogels. MACROMOLECULAR BIOSCIENCE. Wiley-VCH. 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 12. DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201700158
  10. Lord MS, Ellis AL, Farrugia B, Whitelock JM, Grenett H, Li C, O'Grady RL, Decarlo AA. Perlecan and vascular endothelial growth factor-encoding DNA-loaded chitosan scaffolds promote angiogenesis and wound healing. JOURNAL OF CONTROLLED RELEASE. Elsevier Science. 2017, Vol. 250. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2017.02.009
  11. Lord MS, Cheng B, Farrugia B, McCarthy S, Whitelock JM. Platelet Factor 4 Binds to Vascular Proteoglycans and Controls Both Growth Factor Activities and Platelet Activation. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2017, Vol. 292, Issue 10. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M116.760660
  12. Haigh JN, Chuang Y-M, Farrugia B, Hoogenboom R, Dalton PD, Dargaville TR. Hierarchically Structured Porous Poly(2-oxazoline) Hydrogels. MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS. Wiley - V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. 2016, Vol. 37, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1002/marc.201500495
  13. Lord MS, Farrugia B, Yan CMY, Vassie JA, Whitelock JM. Hyaluronan coated cerium oxide nanoparticles modulate CD44 and reactive oxygen species expression in human fibroblasts. JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH PART A. Wiley-Liss. 2016, Vol. 104, Issue 7. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35704
  14. Roberts JJ, Farrugia B, Green RA, Rnjak-Kovacina J, Martens PJ. In situ formation of poly(vinyl alcohol)-heparin hydrogels for mild encapsulation and prolonged release of basic fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor. JOURNAL OF TISSUE ENGINEERING. Sage Publications. 2016, Vol. 7. DOI: 10.1177/2041731416677132
  15. Farrugia B, Whitelock JM, O'Grady R, Caterson B, Lord MS. Mast Cells Produce a Unique Chondroitin Sulfate Epitope. JOURNAL OF HISTOCHEMISTRY & CYTOCHEMISTRY. Histochemical Society. 2016, Vol. 64, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1369/0022155415620649

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