February 21, 2024

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3D bioprinter advances cancer research

Photo Credit: UNSW

A 3D printer that can print replicas of different types of cancers and surrounding cells has recently won one of Australia’s major design awards.

As reported, the 3D bioprinter that can print replicas of tumours has won the prestigious 2019 Good Design Award of the Year.

The printer was co-designed by two leading University of New South Wales (UNSW) medical and science academics with a biomedical company.

Benefits of the 3D bioprinter

The 3D printer gives biomedical researchers and tissue engineers a fast way to create 3D cell structures, proteins and tumour models.

As explained, cancer research is dominated, and in many ways limited, by two-dimensional in vitro cell culture techniques.

However, three-dimensional printing of cell cultures is much more realistic, revealing important features such as the resistance of cells and tumours to treatment.

The technology allows cancer researchers to rapidly produce 3D cultures and build more complex in vitro cancer models than ever before.

This 3D bioprinter is different from others as the types of cells and the environment they grow in can be controlled precisely. It, therefore, allows the creation of 3D cell models and print artificial tumours.

Background

Funding for the printer was secured in 2013 through an ARC linkage grant and the first models were built in 2016.

The printer went through a thorough a rigorous design and testing period from both the engineering and cell biology perspective.

The type of ink developed for the printer means cell biologists, for the first time, have the capability to precisely deposit multiple cell types in a single 3D cell culture.

Additionally, they will be able to control the proteins that bind cells together. This is critical because it allows cancer researchers to better understand the variables in cancer formation.

The printer is revolutionary in its ability to control the volatile cancer environment being worked on and reproduce different types of cancers.

Applications

It provides enormous opportunities to model real cancer cells. Different tumours survive in different microenvironments.

A person does not merely have a tumour, but many other cells, such as immune cells and accessory cells living around that tumour, which influence that environment and response to therapy.

One of the main applications at this stage will be for the printer to recreate and mimic solid tumours as well as have the potential to even recreate blood cell cancers such as leukemia.

The machine is capable of modelling cancer disease and therapeutic responses to test new drugs. This will allow analysis of the ways drugs are impacting the survival of the tumour and potentially feed that back to the clinicians.

It even allows the testing of drugs that they may not have thought of giving. This will reduce the possibility of exposing the patients to undue toxicity.

The core technology is also being used to explore the longer-term potential to impact areas like the treatment of burns and wounds through clinical bedside-bioprinting.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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