|29 November 2016|

Australia

A new institute in Australia aims to develop 3D technologies for the ‘hospitals of the future’.

The Herston Biofabrication Institute is the result of a pioneering partnership between the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Due to open in 2017, the institute “will catapult Queensland onto the global stage as a leader in medical innovation and technology that will change the face of healthcare,” according to Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick. And he insists it is “set to revolutionise modern medicine”.

Biofabrication is a revolutionary process which uses groundbreaking ‘3D imagining, computational modelling and printing technology to manufacture patient-specific tissue to replace lost or damaged bone, cartilage and other tissue’.

Associate Professor Mia Woodruff from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation said: “The Institute is set to become a world leader in tissue regeneration.

“It will focus on developing biofabrication in three key areas: 3D imaging, 3D computer modelling and visualisation and 3D cell culture and 3D bio-printing to create customised engineered tissue implants, some containing the patient’s own cells.

“3D imaging involves scanning the patient using advanced techniques including magnetic resonance micro-imaging, computed tomography, and 3D laser scanning which provide highly accurate 3D patient information to enable personalised treatment.

“3D computer modelling techniques enable surgeons to visualise and plan an operation and customise implants to each patient’s anatomy. This exciting area will also lead to developments in next-generation robotic surgery and bionics.

“The third feature of bio-fabrication is the bio-printing of customised implants, some permanent metallic and some bio-gradable tissue scaffolds, which will take place in the tissue engineering laboratory.”