An introduction to printing body parts

Wednesday, 25 November, 2015

An introduction to printing body parts

The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) has launched the four-week online course ‘Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts’, enabling people to discover how the world of 3D printing and biocompatible materials is allowing scientists to rethink approaches to health care.

Made possible through a partnership with global online learning platform FutureLearn, the course will tell the story of the beginnings of 3D printing, how it is currently being used and what will be possible in years to come. It will be led by Professor Gordon Wallace, head of the UOW-headquartered ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), with equipment and technical support from the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF).

Course material will be presented in language understood by a general audience and will use case studies to illustrate the impact that 3D printing already has on the ability to create customised medical devices. These case studies include the 3D printing of personalised titanium hip implants using selective laser melting, the creation of made-to-fit masks for facial transplant recipients using hot melt extrusion and the potential for lab-grown organs structured through the ink-jet printing of living cells.

The four-week course will require two hours of study per week and is aimed at high-school leavers considering university or current undergraduates. It will provide a taste of what students will learn through undergraduate study at UOW in the disciplines of degrees in science, mechatronics and materials engineering, and later as part of the new master’s degree in biofabrication.

To join the course, visit

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