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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Innovative method to regenerate articular cartilage for patient surgery

Health Industry Hub | June 29, 2020 |

MedTech News: Recipient of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Senior Lecturer Fellowship, Associate Professor Claudia Di Bella, and her research team at BioFab3D, trademarked a ground-breaking method of stem cell transplantation.

BioFab3D is Australia’s first robotics and biomedical engineering centre within a hospital. Researchers, clinicians, engineers and industry partners work to build biological structures such as cartilage, muscle, bone, nerves and organs – almost anything that requires repair through disease and physical trauma.

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne has partnered with four universities – the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and University of Wollongong – to create a unique hub for
innovation and translation.

Associate Professor Di Bella’s team is regenerating articular cartilage by using advanced biofabrication techniques and technology with the use of stem cells that are printed within a gelatinous scaffold and then cultured in 3D. The cartilage project is the largest program at BioFab3D.

The typical pathway for a stem cell transplant procedure involves taking
cells from the patient, then printing and growing them in the lab while the patient waits at home for the cells to do their work and create tissue. The third and final stage is reimplantation into the patient.

The BioFab3D team is hoping to eliminate the second stage of this process because it’s a big obstacle to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval, or to any process that involves tissue engineering.

The revolutionary new procedure that the team hopes to implement will require one simple step. It will take the patient’s own stem cells, then mix them with a scaffold so they have somewhere to grow before putting them back into the same patient to regenerate their own cartilage.

The product has been trademarked, registered and seeking a pathway towards commercialisation. A clinical trial will also commence shortly.


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