News
Jenna Bradwell
10/01/2013

Conference explores next generation technology

Additive biofabrication (AdBioFab) couples advanced manufacturing technology with state-of-the-art materials to create the next generation of medical devices.

The AdBioFab conference in Sydney on 18 December provided a forum for leading researchers, clinicians, manufacturers, policy makers and investors to discuss emergence of this global industry.

The conference was hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at UOW picturesque Sydney Business School campus in Circular Quay.

A packed program covered all aspects of the industry, from fundamental materials research through to product development and eventual application in the clinic, mirroring the innovation pipeline that will see the creation of high impact medical devices in Australia.

Conference keynote speaker Professor Don Iverson (Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute) encouraged participants to “connect and act” to strengthen the links along this pipeline. The sentiment was certainly well-received by the diverse group, with engaging discussion between all parties setting the tone for exciting developments in the immediate future.

Director of ACES, Professor Gordon Wallace, said that the Australian research community is at the moment positioned to make a significant contribution to Additive Biofabrication and to secure a world leadership position in the area.

Australia is well positioned to become an important player in the international AdBioFab landscape, particularly through the development of new medical devices required to support ageing populations at home and throughout Asia.

Along with the exciting potential, several key challenges were identified going forward. Particularly, there was a call for more open innovation policies and deepening ties between research and industry – while Australian research ranks highly in paper generation and collaboration, we perform poorly in the generation of new intellectual property and commercial outcomes. The need for federal and state government support in these matters was emphasised.

Report: Karla Peacock, ACES.

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  • A dynamic representation of bio-inspired modelling using Object MED610 bio-compatible photo-curable polymer.

  • Simultaneous batch production of bespoke experimental equipment for biological studies using an Object Connex 350 printer and MED610 photo-curable polymer.

  • Demonstration of Selective Laser Melt printed parts. Each of these items would be difficult or impossible to fabricate with traditional machining methods.