Man-made materials mimicking those found in our bodies are the focus of a three-day international symposium being hosted by tissue engineers at the University of Sydney.
International and local experts attending the ADATE – Alliance for Design and Application of Tissue Engineering – symposium will discuss the advances and complexities in tissue engineering and organ regeneration.
Professor Hala Zreiqat, symposium co-convenor and head of the University's Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Unit says biomedical engineering has taken giant leaps in recent years as researchers create 3D printable materials.
Her team has developed a unique ceramic material that acts as a scaffold on which the body can regenerate new bone, and then gradually degrades as it is replaced by natural bone.
Natural bone resemblance
"The bone substitute we have developed resembles natural bone in terms of architecture, strength and porosity. It is strong enough to withstand the loads that will be applied to it, and also contains pores that allow blood and nutrients to penetrate it. In this way it is designed to encourage normal bone growth, and to eventually be replaced by natural bone in the body."
The material actually 'kick-starts' the process of bone regeneration makes it far superior to other available materials. Tests also show it will not be rejected by the body. In addition, the material is readily available so can be used widely.
"This material has the potential to positively affect the quality of life of millions of people globally, so we are hoping to see it in clinical use within the next 10 years," says Professor Zreiqat.
Where: Darlington Centre 174 City Rd, Darlington
When: Monday 18 August to Thursday 21 August