Image: A computer simulation of the Biofabrication Institute (Photo courtesy of QUT).
The Herston Health Precinct, a health, aged care, residential, and retail precinct under construction in Brisbane (Australia) at a cost of USD 860 million, has announced a new biofabrication institute that will occupy two floors and will be dedicated to imaging, modeling, and manufacturing of three dimensional (3D) printed patient-specific tissues.
The new Herst biofabrication institute will be realized in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT, Brisbane, Australia) and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (Brisbane, Australia). The institute, which is scheduled to open in 2017, will be equipped with all necessary tools for tissue engineering, clinical scanning and visualization, 3D modeling and 3D printing, and will also feature educational spaces and innovation hubs.
The focus of the institute, which marks the very first time that a bioprinting lab is co-located with a high-level hospital in Australia, will be to create patient-specific tissues that can be implanted for a number of different treatments, with the ultimate goal of using autologous cells taken from the patient himself, integrated with composite biodegradable and biocompatible materials for implant purposes in order to 3D print the tissues. All materials used are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Silver Spring, MD, USA).
“A lot of the implants we are developing, we can implant into a patient and as the tissue grows back, it is not rejected, the scaffold will resorb over time and the tissue will grow even more and eventually the implant is gone,” said associate professor Mia Woodruff, PhD, of the QUT biofabrication and tissue morphology group. “We don't always have to use metallic implants any more, we can develop really high-spec composite materials that dissolve as the tissue heals. Organ transplant lists are endless at the moment, and we want to be able to help these people.”
“Researchers, scientists, nurses, and doctors will all be working together to deliver the best outcome for patients. Our vision of healthcare is that the biofabrication institute will pave the way for 3D printers to sit in operating theatres, ready to print tissue as needed, in our hospitals of the future,” said Australian Minister for Health Cameron Dick. “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.”
Queensland University of Technology
Metro North Hospital and Health Service
U.S. Food and Drug Administration