Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsHello, and welcome to Bioprinting-- 3D Printing Body Parts. Over the next four weeks, we will lead you on a journey of discovery into a world, and until quite recently, was considered the stuff of science fiction. Breakthroughs in 3D printing technology, coupled with recent advances in biomaterials and tissue engineering, has led to an exciting frontier with a future of infinite possibilities. It is now possible to 3D print body parts in the lab. Versions of 3D printing have been accessible for 30 years. But these most recent advances mean the most exciting applications of 3D printing now lie in the medical field. Biomedical engineers and scientists are poised to use 3D printing to spark a revolution in health care.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsThis course tells the story of this revolution. You will be introduced to commonly used biomaterials, including metals, polymers and gels. And learn how bioprinting techniques, such as selective laser melting, extrusion, and inkjet printing, work. You will hear real life stories about how 3D bioprinting has transformed and even saved lives. From heel implants to facial transplants to implantable bioreactors for tissue regeneration. We'll answer questions such as, what is 3D printing, how did it come about. Is it really possible to print scaffolds that incorporate both living and structural components? How long before we can print whole body organs for transplants? What is possible right now? And what will be possible in 20 or even 50 years time?

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsAnd what are the limitations of this technology? This course will also equip and encourage you to become part of the story. You'll be given guided opportunities to not only investigate the 3D printing facilities available to you, but to also design, potentially print, and share your creations with your fellow learners. This is an area at the innovative forefront of medical advancement. This will also present challenges on the non-technical front. Ethical issues around safety, regulation, and human experimentation must be addressed. And traditional business models applicable to conventional biomedical manufacturing and health care will be challenged. It's going to be an exciting and illuminating four weeks.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 secondsI hope you enjoy the course and realise some of the amazing possibilities that are now available through 3D bioprinting.

Welcome to the course

This course is about the revolution in medicine that bioprinting is making possible. Apart from biomedical engineers and scientists another critical member of our development team or research team is, of course, the clinician.

It is the clinician who identifies the actual need for the use of a 3D printed structure to solve a medical condition. You will find as we introduce different projects to you, that there is always a clinician driving the particular project, identifying the need, and understanding with us the potential advantages of using 3D printing to deliver a unique clinical solution.

It is great to have you in this course and we encourage you to participate in the discussions. Discussions are like conversations; add a comment and then look for responses and reply to those that interest you. See this as an opportunity for sharing knowledge.

To participate in discussions either click on the comments or discussions icon in each step.

When you feel you are happy with the material and ideas covered in a step, please ‘Mark as complete’. You can then either choose ‘Next’ to move on to the next step, or return to the week by choosing the ‘To do’ tab at the top of each page. You can always come back to a step even after the end of the course.

Statement of Participation

A Statement of Participation is available on this course. If you complete at least 50% of the steps, you will be eligible to purchase one, which comes in the form of a printed or digital certificate.

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Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts

University of Wollongong