Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Australia’s Biofabrication Institute at the Herston Health Precinct is Hospital of the Future

ST Medical Devices

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images-4Australia is definitely an up and coming country in terms of 3D printing. Their interest, from individuals to universities to companies, just continues to grow as the technology continues to evolve and offer more to everyone. Now, their plan is to lead in revolutionizing medicine as Metro North Hospital and Health Service and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) work together in opening the Biofabrication Institute at the Herston Health Precinct. Here, they have created a model for what may just be the hospital of the future.

With their focus on biofabrication, the hospital will work to further making tissue that can be completely customized for their patients as they are able to more efficiently fix broken bones, replace cartilage, and of course—the holy grail of bioprinting—create new organs for transplanting. Their plan is not just to help patients in Australia, but ultimately all around the world.

“This institute, opening in 2017, will catapult Queensland onto the global stage as a leader in medical innovation and technology that will change the face of healthcare,’ said Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick.

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As the Institute opens the administration sees great opportunities in employment for scientists and clinicians in their country who will be involved in completely new research. They also expect that this will bring in a great deal of investment funds from both the private sector and philanthropists. The facility also serves as a complement to the Herston Quarter Redevelopment, in development with $1.1 billion in funding, which will include a 132-bed Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre.

Mia Woodruff

Mia Woodruff

Biofabrication has apparently become a specialty at QUT, with QUT Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology Group Associate Professor Mia Woodruff, who is also one of the leaders of the FutureHear bioprinting project, pointing out that collaboration is what is the key to success in their endeavor.

“QUT is committed to delivering leading innovation and technology with real world outcomes and benefits and the Biofabrication Institute is an excellent example of this,’ said QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake.

They expect that the initiative will form a team of 50-60 researchers, along with clinicians and others at what they say will be one of the largest health, teaching, and research facilities in Australia. There will be a focus on using both 3D printing and robotics as they create bone, tissue, and organs.

 “Our research team is already well advanced in developing 3D tissue replacements and we are excited to engage with clinicians and industry alike to translate these to the clinic,’ said Woodruff. “International collaboration will be at the forefront of the Herston Biofabrication Institute building upon our strong links with world renowned research and education centres.’

“We hope that the sky’s the limit with this new institute,” she said.

Discuss in the Biofabrication Institute forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: CIM News Magazine; News.com.au; Brisbane Times]

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