You still can’t get a 3D-printed liver transplant made from your own cells, but an Australian hospital is trying to push the tech into the mainstream. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane is building a dedicated “biofabrication” space where doctors and researchers can develop tech to model and print cartilage, bone and other human tissue. “It will be the first time a biomanufacturing institute will be co-located with a high-level hospital,” said Australian Minister of Health, Cameron Dick.
The facility will occupy two floors of the hospital and use state of the art tissue manufacturing tech in surgery procedures. “Our vision for healthcare is that the biofabrication institute will pave the way for 3D printers to sit in operating theaters, ready to print tissue as needed, in our hospitals of the future,” Dick said.
For hospitals around the world to have the ability to print cartilage, bone and other human tissue on site is a major step forward. With the 3D printing experts working alongside hospital staff, it’s easy to imagine the rate of innovation and advances in the field increasing rapidly. As Associate Professor Mia Woodruff tells Engadget, “We are not going to be able to 3D print an organ tomorrow but what we are able to do is bring together the researchers, the clinicians, the patients, the engineers, the intellect and industry partners for us to develop new technology to the level where it can be translated into the clinic.”