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On Demand Webinar with Research Professor Ferry Melchels and Dr. Cathal O'Connell

Updated: Dec 13, 2023



Biomaterials have revolutionized medical science, propelling us into a future where organic materials can be used to create intricate 3D structures, allowing for groundbreaking medical treatments and applications. Join us to discover the future of biofabrication and biomaterials with Research Professor Ferry Melchels and Dr. Cathal O'Connell.


A Deep Dive into gelMA with Professor Ferry Melchels


Professor Ferry Melchels Bio:

Ferry is a Professor in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at the University of South Australia.


He is focused on advancing the field of polymeric biomaterials and pioneers the integration of novel hydrogels, scaffold materials, and cells with innovative biofabrication technologies to create 3D tissue constructs for use in regenerative medicine and in vitro models. Ferry also explores the development of reliable drug and vaccine delivery devices, opening new avenues in treatment methods. Committed to pushing boundaries, his future ambition is to refine biomaterials-based technology platforms, particularly within tissue engineering and drug delivery. Recognized for his significant contributions and expertise, Ferry’s work has potential for groundbreaking advancements in medical treatments and patient outcomes.


Presentation title: A decade of research on gelatine methacryloyl (gelMA)


For those passionate about the integration of novel hydrogels, scaffold materials, and innovative biofabrication technologies, Professor Melchels' session is a must-attend. With a focus on advancing the field of polymeric biomaterials, he will provide an extensive, albeit one-sided, historical overview of gelMA as a pioneering biomaterial.


Expect to delve into:

  • The significant research of the past 10+ years, including insights into printability, mechanical properties, and groundbreaking applications.

  • Fascinating case studies on the engineering of cartilage, vascularised bone, cancer models, and vascular grafts.

  • The lesser-known stories behind gelMA, including the origins of its name and the quirky concept of "Friday Afternoon Experiments".


Exploring Injection Bio-casting with Dr. Cathal O'Connell


Dr. Cathal O'Connell's Bio:

Connell is an expert in biofabrication with a background in physics and nanoscience. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the BioFab3D@ACMD lab within St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. As a lead biomaterials scientist on the 'biopen' (now Axcelda) project, he is working towards a new era in treating knee defects. He has published in prestigious journals including Nature Nanotech, and beyond the lab, he’s made science accessible to the masses, authoring over 150 popular science articles. His piece, 'The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter', for example, was featured in 'Best Australian Science Writing 2017'. Recognized as a finalist in ABC's "Top 5 under 40" in 2015, and with accolades like the Thinkable 'Inspire Australia' award, Dr. O'Connell aims to bridge the gap between intricate research and public understanding.


Presentation title: Injection bio-casting: a versatile method for creating complex hydrogel structures


Dr. O'Connell, a luminary in biofabrication with a rich background in physics and nanoscience, will unravel the intricacies of injection bio-casting. Recognized for his translation research at the BioFab3D@ACMD lab and his significant contribution to the 'biopen' project, Dr. O'Connell is perfectly poised to shed light on this innovative technique.


Key takeaways from this session will include:

  • Understanding the current challenges in additive fabrication techniques and the compromises researchers often face.

  • An introduction to the injection casting technique and its transformative potential in crafting intricate hydrogel structures.

  • An exciting showcase of human-scale branched vascular tubes crafted using chemically crosslinked gelatin.



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