A visit to Metro North’s Biofabrication Institute

As the first institute of its kind, Metro North Health’s Herston Quarter’s Biofabrication Institute is a state-of-the-art setting focussed on 3D scanning, 3D modelling and 3D printing of medical devices, bone, cartilage and human tissue. We are proud to support the institute as part of our commitment to improving outcomes for people who experience serious personal injury.

The institute’s projects span from practical applications like surgical models through to treating burns injuries by growing skin from a patient’s donor cells, while their range of 3D printers aids in developing personalised solutions, including custom wheelchair cushions for optimal support and pressure distribution. Looking ahead, the influence of 3D printing is set to expand across various domains, including a funded NIISQ project aimed at tailored solutions for pressure and posture support.

The project’s success so far is evident, with a scale-up of the 3D printed foams proving successful and a series of full-sized wheelchair cushions designed, manufactured and tested. Laboratory testing showed excellent performance in terms of durability and environmental performance. The cushions are cost effective to produce and a regulatory compliant pathway for cushion supply has been established. Overcoming flammability challenges is the next stride, paving the way for clinical trials and integration into the Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) centre.

The Herston Biofabrication Institute exemplifies innovation in healthcare, merging science, technology, and funding to shape groundbreaking solutions that enhance patient well-being. We look forward to sharing more updates on this initiative and its outcomes for people with serious personal injury.

Last updated: August 2023