The University of Wollongong’s Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) has run a four-week online course on ‘BioprintingBioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts’, through UOW’s partnership with global online learning platform FutureLearn. The partnership with the social learning platform will put UOW’s research expertise alongside more than 60 global institutions and leading educators in offering a diverse range of free online courses.
The online course was led by Professor Gordon Wallace, whose work is at the forefront of biomedical science, and involves the story of the beginnings of 3D printing, how it is currently being used and what will be possible in years to come.
“We started this journey only a few short years ago by taking off-the-shelf office printers and having our engineers rebuild them to be able to print a bio-ink, embedded with human cells, that we had just developed,” Professor Wallace said. “In the short time since, revolutionary scientific advances in 3D-printing technology and the development of amazing biomaterials, which can seamlessly integrate into the body, means we may be only a few years away from a time when every major hospital will contain 3D printing capabilities. “This emerging field of biofabrication is being made possible through connections between medicine and technology and we are now seeing previously unimaginable developments, such as prosthetic limbs controlled by thought alone, and bionic implants to restore lost senses, and of course – 3D printing of human organs.”