Wollongong-made 3D bioprinters make global mark

By on 3 February, 2021

3D printed ears created by the 3D Genii bioprinter. Image provided.

Prosthetists in India will gain access to two 3D bioprinters designed at the University of Wollongong (UOW) under a new partnership.

The customised bioprinters will be used to correct ear deformities by creating implantable, flexible, customised prosthetic ears that match the anatomy of patients suffering from microtia  — a congenital deformity of the ear that has a heightened rate of disease in India compared to Australia.

The strategic partnership is between ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) researchers from UOW amd Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ) in India.

According to UOW, the 3D Genii printer will allow prosthetists to complete their work faster and in a more streamlined manner, while providing simple scanning technology that can be used remotely to ensure the system is more accessible across the broader population.

ACES Director, Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace AO, said the delivery of printers to India is an exciting step in accelerating new technologies, creating new industries and building local medtech infrastructure for both Australia and India.

“We’ve seen some impressive advances in the partnership between UOW and AMTZ in terms of identifying areas of clinical need, developing the best strategies to meet that need, and bringing together the knowledge and expertise to deliver the most effective solution in the least amount of time,” Professor Wallace said.

“Both India and Australia have challenges in delivering health innovations to their rural areas. We hope these latest developments will help in reaching out to those patients and healthcare professionals who can work remotely with us to access 3D printing technologies.”

AMTZ will also take receipt of the 3DREDI, a locally designed and manufactured 3D bioprinting research and education system that equips users with the essential hardware and skills to embark on projects in the rapidly emerging bioprinting industry, according to UOW.

The AMTZ team will utilise the 3DREDI system to advance their knowledge in bioprinting while focusing on the use of 3D bioprinted structures for cardiac regeneration.

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