A new centre dedicated to advanced medical 3D-printing has been launched this week.

The ARC training centre is dedicated to cutting-edge research in close collaboration with hospitals and industry, to translate lab findings into practical patient benefits.

Three research projects well underway at the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing based at QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation are:

  • A hand-held ‘bio pen’ fed with bioink that will allow surgeons to 3D print patient-specific cartilage cells on to knee and hip joints to repair and replace cartilage which is the ‘shock absorber’ for our long bones

  • Patients can look forward to less time under anaesthetic as surgeons can improve their suture skills dramatically with a new, largely 3D printed device, that lets them practise suturing tiny 3D printed ‘blood vessels, nerves, ligaments & tendons’ to increase their skill and speed and test the quality of suturing lines via measuring the burst strength and water leakage

  • Cell biology and tissue engineering scientists are moving ever closer to personalised, patient-specific cancer therapy by using 3D printed hydrogels to model individual patients’ tumours to test for the most effective drug for that particular patient

The centre’s director, Professor Dietmar Hutmacher says; “Each of the Centre’s 12 PhD candidates and three post-doctoral researchers is working with an industry partner and an academic expert in the field so that we can bring these findings from ‘bench to bedside’ quickly”.

“Our research team includes biomedical engineers, biochemists, surgeons and a lawyer working on every aspect of this game-changing field of medicine so it becomes part of everyday medical practice in the near future,” he said.