Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Human tissue from a 3D printer

16.05.2014

Early May saw the official launch of the world’s first international Master’s degree program in “biofabrication”. Participating in the program are universities from Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany. The German representative is the University of Würzburg.

It sounds a bit like science fiction: Accident victims receive a replacement for their destroyed bones that is an exact fit for the damaged site. The material comes from a 3D printer and was built up there layer by layer using special biomaterials subsequently colonized by cells belonging to the patient.

But it is not just bones; muscles, nerves, and skin can also be made by the printer to match each patient perfectly. Because the implant was constructed from the body’s own cells, the body does not reject it; the immune system does not have to be suppressed with drugs.

In actual fact, this scenario has been a reality for quite some time now – at least when it comes to healing damaged bone. But scientists are confident that in a few years they will be in a position to use 3D technology to help reconstruct breast tissue for women after breast cancer surgery, for example, or even to produce entire organs.

This coming winter semester, a new international Master’s degree program will start that will focus on precisely this area of research: BIOFAB or, to give it its full name, Biofabrication Training for Future Manufacturing. The parties involved in this world-first offering are:

• Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
• University of Woollongong (Australia)
• University Medical Center Utrecht (The Netherlands)
• Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (Germany)

The course will be supported financially by the European Union and the Australian Government.

“The University of Würzburg has had outstanding expertise in the field of 3D printing of human tissue and in tissue engineering for some time now,” says Professor Jürgen Groll. Groll has been Chairman of the Department for Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry at Würzburg since August 2010.

One of his areas of expertise is the production of extremely fine threads made from biocompatible polymers, which are spun into nets that serve as implants. Using a technology that is currently unique across Europe, which is known as melt electrospinning writing, Groll is able to direct a polymer melt through the nozzle of a kind of inkjet printer and spread it on a substrate, generating any desired structure.

Professor Paul Dalton, who is largely organizing the program, is one of the leading pioneers in the field of melt electrospinning writing. He developed and has since advanced this technology in his laboratory at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. He will help run the new Master’s degree program for the University of Würzburg as well.

The new Master’s degree program

The four universities involved will each admit ten students to the Master’s course. They will complete around half of their studies in Australia and around half in Europe. At the end, they will receive an international Master’s degree both in Australia and in Europe.

“Biofabrication is a research field that includes many disciplines,” says Paul Dalton. Anyone who wants to work in this field should have good knowledge of subjects like chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, robotics, and information technology. Accordingly, graduates in these subjects can apply for a place on the new degree program. A course awaits them that will place a strong emphasis on research with a high proportion of laboratory work. Over the four semesters they will conduct biofabrication research at the top laboratories in Europe and Australia, work with the leading experts, and establish international contacts in the process.

“Biofabrication needs researchers with broad-based knowledge and offers a career option for students with a general interest in science. The graduates of this program will be specialists sought after internationally,” Dalton promises. Thanks to their training they will be capable of “leading this exciting revolution in medicine – a revolution that will be increasingly important for an aging society.”

Contact

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Groll, T: +49 (0)931 - 201 73610; office@fmz.uni-wuerzburg.de

Prof. Dr. Paul Dalton, daltonlab@gmail.com

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.biofabdegree.net

Gunnar Bartsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: biocompatible biomaterials breast damaged electrospinning nerves replacement

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists discover species of dolphin that existed along South Carolina coast
24.08.2017 | New York Institute of Technology

nachricht The science of fluoride flipping
24.08.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists discover species of dolphin that existed along South Carolina coast

24.08.2017 | Life Sciences

The science of fluoride flipping

24.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Optimizing therapy planning for cancers of the liver

24.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>