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Researchers able to 3D print cancer tumours

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The Australian innovation called Rastrum could be used to help patients receive the most effective drugs sooner.

Researchers are now 3D printing cancer cells to help fast-track testing and better treatments for patients.

The Australian innovation called Rastrum can create hundreds of 3D tumours in hours instead of weeks using current labour-intensive methods.

"It allows us to be able to print multiple mini tumours in a dish at the moment and you can test those tumours with different types of drugs," Professor Maria Kavallaris, ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Sciences (CBNS), said.

READ MORE: Lab discovery could help fight deadly cancer

It could be used to help patients receive the most effective drugs sooner.

"We may even be able to discover ways that tumours become resistant to therapy," Professor Kavallaris said.

A cartridge inside the printer contains different types of gel to create a matrix that mimics the tumour's environment.

"For example we form a stiff ink if we wanted to do a muscle or we form a soft ink if we want to do, say a lung," Professor Justin Gooding, Chief Investigator at the CBNS, said.

READ MORE: Cancer tests and procedures halved during lockdown, new data shows

The malignant cells are then added to the mix for the printing process which takes just 80 minutes.

"It's super exciting. It really opens up what we can do scientifically from not just understanding cancers but also personalising your treatment or developing new therapeutics for cancer," Professor Gooding said.

The platform was validated in research published in the medical journal IScience.

It found droplet-based bioprinting is easily scalable in a manner similar to inkjet printing.

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The 3D printing technology was created over several years as part of a collaboration between industry and universities.

READ MORE: Australia's cancer screening rates plummet during coronavirus pandemic

"Shows you how universities and industry can really make massive changes if they get together early on," Professor Gooding said.

About a dozen research centres across the country are currently using the machines and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin has also acquired the technology.

Pharmaceutical companies have also expressed interested.

"It's definitely accelerating at the moment, we delivered four printers last week," Aidan O'Mahony, Inventia Life Science, Chief Technology Officer, said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/cancer-news-3d-printing-to-recreate-tumours-for-drug-testing/e335eee7-a9ee-484d-88ad-8301eabbf659

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