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UOW unveils new 3D bioprinting system

Image Credits: ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, Article - "Meet 3DREDI"

The team from TRICEP has launched its new 3D bioprinting system on the global stage. 3DREDI is a 3D bioprinting system designed to equip users with the essential hardware and skills to embark on projects in the rapidly emerging bioprinting industry. The system was designed and manufactured in Wollongong, and the online launch attracted interest from countries including India, USA, Indonesia, Finland and Dubai.

The onsite launch of 3DREDI was attended by the University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor, the Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Government Relations.

3DREDI features an intuitive bioprinting platform and performs as both a research and education tool. The system also comes complete with interactive printing and characterisation tutorials to allow educators and students to familiarise themselves with the capabilities of multi-material bioprinting. Users also receive example cases they can utilise to get started on their own research.

The TRICEP Director stated that the realisation of the 3DREDI system is an exciting advance in establishing a new, innovative and sustainable 3D bioprinting industry in the Illawarra. The team is at the forefront of building new approaches to 3D printing, and the success of this project draws on the significant developments they have achieved in this space in recent years and their focus on building local capabilities in the area, the Professor said.

The 3DREDI system is an exciting advance in 3D bioprinting, and the intuitive and flexible platform has been developed with the input of world-leading clinicians. 3DREDI aims to educate the next generation of biofabricators by equipping them with the skills and tools to tackle big medical challenges, as well as serving as a biomaterials research tool.

TRICEP is a 100 per cent owned initiative of the University of Wollongong (UOW). With the help of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) partnership, TRICEP (launched in 2018) has been working to develop and commercialise 3D bioprinting technologies for use in the medical industry to combat significant clinical challenges. The first 3DREDI will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2021.

With the help of the ACES and Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) partnership, the Translational Research Initiative for Cell Engineering and Printing (TRICEP) – launched in 2018 – has been working to meet a range of clinical needs. This partnership has enabled TRICEP to bring about real advances to tackle significant medical challenges.

They continue to highlight TRICEP initiatives and technology – this time taking a closer look at 3D REDI, which was launched online on 26 November 2020.

The 3D REDI system has been configured to incorporate two independent mechanical extrusion units. These units control extrusion and retraction of 3cc syringes containing bioinks for printing. Active temperature management of bioinks, and in turn viscosity control for structure retention during printing, is achieved using independent Peltier based thermal control units. An integrated variable intensity of 405nm light source provides tuneable crosslinking of materials.

Research and education challenge?

Additive fabrication has, over the last ten years, had a profound impact on materials research, opening new pathways to construct novel structures and enable the undertaking of fundamental research. However, the adaptation of these systems to specific clinical needs is often not possible, leading to the need for new hardware to be envisaged, developed and tested. The greatest examples of this need have been seen in the bio-additive fabrication space, where the sensitivities of the carrier materials, bio-factors, and live cells, as well as the working environment, have required the development of new means of producing multiple material structures over micro to macro length scales.

The future is exciting for 3D REDI. Scalable production of the printer at TRICEP is currently in the works and the process of deploying the units to partner labs around Australia and the world is also underway.

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