Australian universities lead world with medical 3D printing course launch

Two
Australian universities and two European universities will offer a world-first
master’s degree course in biofabrication.

AAP reports that the degree, launched on Friday, will be available through Queensland
University of Technology, University of Wollongong, the Netherlands’ University
Medical Center Utrecht and Germany’s University of Wurzberg.

Biomanufacturing
uses 3D printers to make biodegradable plastic scaffolds out of tissue. These
are injected with stem cells and have new tissue grow around them. The
scaffolds then dissolve.

Professor Gordon Wallace
of the University of Wollongong’s ARC Centre of Excellence for
Electromaterials Science said the
venture was an example of Australian resources and expertise being displayed on
a global stage.

The two-year, two-degree
program would admit 10 students to universities, Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher
of QUT told Business Insider. The program would equip students with
globally-relevant, multi-disciplinary skills, he said.

“This degree is a vital
step in ensuring Australia is a high-value, high-tech manufacturer in the
future,” Hutmacher told Business Insider.

“Graduates will be at
the forefront of an industry that will always be in high demand given the
ageing of populations around the world and which cannot be easily replicated by
any other country.”