Australian biomedical company Inventia Life Science is the winner of the 2019 Good Design Award of the Year for its Rastrum 3D Bioprinter – the world’s first high-throughput 3D bioprinting platform for cell biology, capable of printing replicas of different types of cancers.
The Rastrum 3D bioprinter relies on a unique “drop on demand” technology to build a 3D cell model by placing individual cell types and matrix components. It is set to allow cancer researchers to produce 3D cultures and build more complex in vitro cancer models much faster than before.
Inventia developed the revolutionary technology in collaboration with UNSW Sydney’s Australian Centre for Nanomedicine (ACN) co-directors, Professor Justin Gooding and Professor Maria Kavallaris.
“Cancer research is dominated – and in many ways limited – by two-dimensional in vitro cell culture techniques,” said Scientia Professor Gooding from UNSW’s School of Chemistry.
“But three-dimensional printing of cell cultures is much more realistic, revealing important features such as the resistance of cells and tumours to treatment.”
According to Professor Gooding, what sets the Rastrum 3D Bioprinter apart from other 3D bioprinting technology is the fact that it allows cancer researchers full and precise control of the types of cells they want to print and the environment they grow in.
“The type of ink developed for the printer means cell biologists for the first time have the capability to precisely deposit multiple cell types in a single 3D cell culture,” said Professor Gooding.
“They will also be able to control the proteins that binds cells together. This is critical because it allows cancer researchers to better understand the variables in cancer formation.”
According to Professor Kavallaris, the Rastrum is a breakthrough technology that is capable of modelling cancer diseases, therapeutic responses and testing new drugs as well.
“We can analyse the ways drugs are impacting the survival of the tumour and potentially feed that back to clinicians – even test drugs they may not have thought about giving and reduce exposing patients to undue toxicity. This is an amazing starting point for researchers to use our imaginations and develop cell models to study disease,” said Professor Kavallaris.
Sydney based Inventia was honoured during the 61st annual Australian Good Design Awards. The company was founded in 2013; its focus is the development of bioprinting technologies aimed at the advancement of cancer research and treatment.