Clinical Programs

The Herston Biofabrication Institute is supporting research within Metro North Hospital and Health Service through a range of biofabrication-focussed clinical programs.

2019 Programs

The 2019 programs are focussed on orthopaedics, burns, vascular surgery, urology and cancer care. A summary of these programs and current projects are outlined below.

Our Orthopaedics program is led by orthopaedic surgeon A/Prof Kevin Tetsworth. It is focussed on the following collaborative research projects:

  • Multi-faceted approach to modelling continuously curved lattices to enhance bone in-growth (biomimetic designs).
  • Prospective assessment of the relationship between osteochondral injuries of the talar dome associated with pilon fractures.
  • Developing a new algorithm for proteoglycan loss and collagen degeneration – a finite element study.
  • Hybrid implant development: 3D printed implant to repair osteochondral defects.
  • Internal deformations in human knee and hip joint under axial compression – 9.4T MRI study.

Our Burns program is led by burns and general surgeon Dr Jason Brown. It is focussed on the following collaborative research projects:

  • 3D patient assessment of burn depth and size to guide surgical planning and treatment using advanced 3D imaging technologies.
  • Post-operative burn scar management using 3D scanning, 3D modelling and 3D printing for custom pressure devices and prosthetics.
  • Virtual reality for procedural and peri-procedural pain and anxiety management.
  • Skin regeneration using 3D bioprinting as an alternative to use of donor skin for burns patients.
  • Queensland Skin Culture Centre (QSCC) Biobank – RBWH HREC approved.
Our Vascular program is led by vascular surgeons Dr Jason Jenkins and Dr Nigel Pinto. It is focussed on the following collaborative projects:

  • Advanced manufacturing of bioresorbable stents: process and materials, deployment mechanisms, and antimicrobial effects of graphene.
  • Soft robotic catheters for minimally invasive surgery: design and manufacturing process development.
  • Tissue engineering of vascular grafts.
  • Surgical training and simulation for treatment planning and skills development.
Our Urology program is led by urology surgeon Dr Nicholas Rukin. It is focussed on the following collaborative research projects:

  • 3D printing of patient-specific prostate anatomical models for surgical planning and patient communication.
  • Development of novel medical devices for urological equipment, including stents, prosthetic testicles, teaching apparatus and endourological equipment
  • 3D printing of meshes for tissue repair
Our Cancer Care program is led by medical physicist A/Prof Scott Crowe. It is focussed on the following collaborative projects:

  • 3D printing of patient specific bolus, shielding, positioning devices and brachytherapy applicators, using optical, CT and/or MRI based models.
  • Development of bespoke quality assurance phantoms for imaging and radiation dose measurements.
  • Development of improved cell culture vessels for accurate and repeatable radiation biology experiments.

2020 Project

Advanced manufacturing of PPE for COVID-19

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to protect hospital staff and enable effective treatment of infectious patients, such as those with COVID- 19. PPE includes fluid resistant gowns, surgical masks, protective eyewear and gloves.
  • Due to the pandemic, MNHHS facilities are experiencing increased use of PPE. To respond to this risk, the Herston Biofabrication Institute is using advanced manufacturing to develop novel face shields, respirator masks and other devices.
  • 18,000 3D printed face shields were crowdsourced in 4 weeks and the team is progressing the development of an N95/P2 respirator masks, as well as disposable gowns. The Institute is also collaboratively developing new simulation and evaluation methods to test the efficacy of novel PPE with a dedicated clinical advisory group.
  • Key partners: Digital Metro North, the Clinical Skills Development Service, COVID-SOS, The University of Queensland, QUT, Woodford Correctional Services and the Arc Hardware Incubator.
  • Key MNHHS team members: Mathilde Desselle, Dr Marianne Kirrane, Dr David Forrestal, Nerys Brackman, Dr Clair Sullivan, Dr Michael Wagels.
PPE Video

2021 Program

Herston Biofabrication Institute (HBI)

Level 12, Block 7
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital