Making Better Humans' event highlights Science Week activities in Wollongong

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), director, Professor Gordon Wallace.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), director, Professor Gordon Wallace.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), director, Professor Gordon Wallace will speak at the Australian Academy of Science Plastic Fantastic National Speaker Series 2017, ‘Making better humans’.

The August 17 event at the UOW Innovation Campus starts at 6pm and features talks from three leading scientists who use futuristic polymer materials, such as plastics, to treat disease, heal and even replace parts of the body.

Prof Wallace will focus on ‘3D Bioprinting: Printing Parts for Bodies’, with advances in 3D printing changing the way we think about making things as well as the materials and components we use.

Not so long ago it would have been unthinkable that humans could print three-dimensional biopolymer structures using living stem cells.

A major focus on this will be innovative 3D devices such as ‘the Biopen’ a handheld 3D printing device that is loaded with ink containing a patient’s own cells and is designed to repair knee cartilage damaged by osteoarthritis.

Read more: Award nod for handheld 3D Device which will repair cartilage.

“This is a rare opportunity for the people of Wollongong to hear from leaders in the field who are pioneering the use of polymers to tackle some big medical challenges,’’ Prof Wallace said.

He said scientists were in a race against time to find new ways of administering treatments that target infection, leaving bacteria less time and opportunity for resistance.

CSIRO research scientist, Dr Katherine Locock will be tackling antibiotic resistance using safe antimicrobial polymers.

UNSW Chemistry Professor, Martina Stenzel, is revolutionising the way we target and treat cancer and other diseases by developing ‘smart’ nanoparticles to deliver powerful anti-cancer drugs.

The ACES sponsored series of events will be held in Wollongong, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Details of the Wollongong event are at www.eventbrite.com.au/e/making-better-humans-tickets-32709382644

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