Each year, Good Design Australia presents prizes to the most innovative designs in various disciplines. This year, the 61st annual Australian Good Design Awards presented the highest award—the Good Design Award of the Year—to medtech company Inventia for its Rastrum 3D bioprinter, which is designed for advancing cancer treatments.
The prestigious award has given a major boost to Australian company Inventia Life Science Pty Ltd, which was founded in 2013 with the goal of transforming the medical field—with a focus on cancer treatment—through 3D bioprinting technologies.
Some of the other awards presented were to RangerBot, an underwater robot designed to help save the Great Barrier Reef (it won the Good Design Award for Sustainability) and to Sharon Gauci, the Executive Director of Industrial Design at General Motors, who received the inaugural Women in Design Award.
“The Good Design Award winners this year are an inspiring representation of the future,” said Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia. “At the heart of all the winning projects is a problem (big or small) that was solved through clever, considered and meaningful design that will have a positive impact on our lives and our planet.”
Rastrum 3D bioprinter
Inventia’s novel bioprinting technology was designed for the purpose of building 3D cell structures to test different cancer therapies. More specifically, it leverages advanced microfluidics to create a realistic, three-dimensional cellular structures for testing immunotherapies.
“Rastrum makes complex 3D cell biology simple by unleashing the power of digital 3D bioprinting,” Inventia writes on its website. “With its unique technology, Rastrum places individual cell types and matrix components drop-by-drop (akin to an inkjet printer depositing pixels of colour), layer-by-layer to build a 3D cell model, giving you capability like never before to recreate in vivo biology.”
The bioprinter, whose design is remarkably compact and sleek, is capable of delivering 3D cell models at rapid rates, enabling medical professionals and researchers to screen thousands of drugs for cancer treatment. The ability to rapidly determine the efficacy of a cancer drug—in general or for a specific patient—can lead to huge improvements in patient-care and cancer research more broadly. In other words, the technology could help to eliminate much of the trial and error that goes into treating patients for cancer.
Down the line, Inventia’s Rastrum bioprinting technology could also be used for other applications, such as printing tissues and even organs.