Australia’s newest 3D bioprinting initiative is well positioned to unlock breakthroughs in the treatment of significant medical conditions.
In fact TRICEP (Translational Research Initiative for Cellular Engineering and Printing) director Gordon Wallace added the Wollongong facility was already identifying and customising materials and fabrication protocols to deliver 3D bioprinting solutions for real world clinical problems.
“These include the development of the Biopen for cartilage regeneration, the iFix Pen to treat corneal ulcerations, and 3D Alek to create printed ears,” Professor Wallace said.
The 100 per cent owned University of Wollongong initiative TRICEP, was officially launched on Tuesday.
It draws on expertise and facilities available within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) Materials Node, both based at the UOW Innovation Campus.
“Our in-house ability to develop both customised hardware and bioinks, as well as our expansive clinical network, makes us uniquely placed to help companies create a complete end product that is tailor-made to combat a specific medical challenge,” Prof Wallace said.
“In addition, our extensive medical network throughout Australia and reaching overseas enables collaborations to ensure that clinically relevant systems and protocols are developed.”
TRICEP houses a range of additive manufacturing technologies, including the highest resolution metal printer in Australia and the country’s leading biofabrication capability to develop biomaterials.
This allows the team to produce specialised 3D printing devices and customised bioinks (gels containing living cells to regenerate tissue to repair damage within the body) to treat specific medical conditions.
Prof Wallace added there were opportunities for Australian industry to expand into 3D bioprinting, from supplying the raw ingredients for bioinks through to formulating and packaging them.
“Likewise, in the engineering space, there is room for growth in the design and manufacture of customised printers for a range of clinical applications,” he said.
“TRICEP can help Australian SMEs to capitalise on these commercial opportunities.”
Member for Kiama and Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said TRICEP would extend the Illawarra’s strong local industry collaboration network.
“TRICEP provides an opportunity for SMEs and industry partners to connect with leading researchers and access local innovative knowledge and hardware to develop exciting new clinical solutions,” he said.