Researchers working on a range of 3D biomedical treatments plan to investigate the use of graphene in Australian medical research as part of a Herston Biofabrication Institute study starting early next year.
Graphene is a super-material made from carbon that provides a wide range of enhancements to other products, making them lighter, stronger and longer lasting. It also conducts heat and electricity efficiently and has antibacterial powers.
The graphene for the research project will be supplied by Brisbane-based Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG), which is currently one of the world’s leading bulk manufacturers of pristine graphene.
The newly established $54 million Herston Biofabrication Institute at Herston Health Precinct will be collaborating with GMG, surgeons, academics and other industry partners to develop 3D platform technologies (scanning, modelling, printing) in four important areas of healthcare: personalised orthopaedics, burn injury treatment and vascular surgery.
The project is being co-led by Dr Jenkins, the head of surgical services at Metro North Health.
GMG Founder and Managing Director Craig Nicol said he was delighted that Brisbane was hosting such ground-breaking research and that GMG was able to contribute through the supply of graphene produced in Brisbane.
“We will be providing the Institute with a range of different graphene platelet sizes and shapes to assist with essential research into personalised vascular surgery prognosis, training, and treatment,” Nicol said.
“GMG has expertise in dispersing graphene effectively into polymer and other materials and we will be advising and mentoring the process of adapting graphene dispersions for 3D printing.”
Nicol said that GMC is seeking to unlock graphene applications to everyday products previously not possible due to the extremely high costs of manufacturing the material.
“Our technology allows us to produce high-quality graphene nano-platelets more affordably than any competitor globally, making it perfect for medical trials and health-based research such as the Herston Biofabrication Institute work,” he said.
“We expect to see our graphene lead to true health-based innovation delivering significant and long-lasting health benefits through the creation of stronger and more effective stents with potential antibacterial properties, cell culture biocompatibility and enhanced mechanics.”