Development of paste inks for 3D printing of Multi-scaled Porous Ceramic Architectures
Professor George Franks, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne
Professor (Honorary) David Dunstan, Department of Chemical Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne
Dr Daniel Heath, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne
Shareen Chan’s passion for Additive Manufacturing (or 3D printing) was ignited during her studies in Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor with Honours) at the National University of Singapore. After completion, she worked as an engineer in the consumer product and medical device testing industry, where she developed a deeper appreciation for biomedical technology and its impact on the quality of life. After nearly a decade in industry, she decided to further pursue both her interests in a PhD project with Prof. George Franks in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Heath in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Bone is the second most transplanted tissue worldwide, with allo- and autografts as the ‘gold standard’. Despite their limited availability and other shortcomings, the alternative – synthetic bone substitutes or scaffolds – currently fall short due to incompatible mechanical properties and inferior osteoconductivity. Shareen’s project aims to solve some of these challenges through colloidal processing of bioceramics and 3D printing, namely extrusion-based Direct Ink Writing, resulting in scaffold structures with multiple scales of porosity. The relationships between formulation, structure, properties and performance will be investigated. Potential outcomes include improved scaffolds for orthopaedic repair and a better understanding and control of the fabrication process.