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Australia-first Biofabrication Institute

QUT has partnered with Metro North Hospital and Health Service to establish the Herston Biofabrication Institute, the first institute in Australia dedicated to 3D technologies for the hospitals of the future.

First published 21 November 2016

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick announced the new Institute, set to open next year, today at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Herston, Brisbane.

Mr Dick said the Institute was set to revolutionise modern medicine.

“This Institute will catapult Queensland onto the global state as a leader in medical innovation and technology that will change the face of healthcare.” Mr Dick said


Biofabrication uses revolutionary 3D imaging, computational modelling and printing technology to manufacture patient-specific tissue to replace lost or damaged bone, cartilage and other tissue.

Associate Professor Mia Woodruff from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said doctors, scientists, researchers and engineers would join the Biofabrication Institute, located in the Herston Health Precinct one of Australia’s largest integrated health, teaching and research precincts.

“The Institute is set to become a world leader in tissue regeneration”, Professor Woodruff said.

“It will focus on developing biofabrication in three key areas: 3D imaging, 3D computer modelling and visualisation and 3D cell culture and 3D bio-printing to create customised engineered tissue implants, some containing the patient’s own cells.

QUT Associate Professor Mia Woodruff

“3D imaging involves scanning the patient using advanced techniques including magnetic resonance micro-imaging, computed tomography, and 3D laser scanning which provide highly accurate 3D patient information to enable personalised treatment.

“3D computer modelling techniques enable surgeons to visualise and plan an operation and customise implants to each patient’s anatomy. This exciting area will also lead to developments in next-generation robotic surgery and bionics.

“The third feature of bio-fabrication is the bio-printing of customised implants, some permanent metallic and some bio-gradable tissue scaffolds, which will take place in the tissue engineering laboratory.”

Professor Woodruff said the Institute would also be an education hub for STEM disciplines.

“It will include flexible work spaces to support engagement with schools and stimulate interest in STEM subjects to encourage a new generation of scientists and engineers to join us in this exciting field.

“Importantly we will engage with industry to enable new technologies to be developed and translated to the clinic faster than currently possible and we look forward to engaging with new and existing partners.”

The Herston Biofabrication Institute will open in 2017 with 50-60 researchers and clinicians in chemistry, biology, physics, technology, mathematics, engineering and applied clinical practices.

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT Media, 07 3138 2999 or

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