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QUT
Brisbane, Australia

The 'gel' is a new 3D printable material developed by QUT researchers that opens the way to rapid, personalised cancer treatment by enabling multiple, simultaneous tests to find the correct therapy to target a particular tumour. Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation said the new material was a gelatine-based hydrogel that mimicked human tissue. The method for producing the gelatine-based hydrogel is published in the journal Nature Protocols. "Hydrogel is a biomaterial used by thousands of researchers around the globe; gelatine is based on collagen, one of the most common tissues in the human body. We have modified the gelatine to engineer 3D tumour microenvironments," Professor Hutmacher said. "Our big breakthrough is we can produce this high-quality material on a very large scale inexpensively. "It is highly reproducible which means we have been able to produce this hydrogel hundreds of times, not just once or twice in the lab, so researchers worldwide will be able to create it." Professor Hutmacher said the new hydrogel could be used as a 'bioink' to print 3D 'microenvironments' or models of a tumour to test different anti-cancer drugs. "We will be able to use this hydrogel infused with tumour cells to quickly create a number of models of patient-specific tumours. "Instead of the sometimes hit and miss chemotherapy that affects every cell in the body this will allow us to test different anti-cancer drugs and different combinations of them all at once so that we can pinpoint an individualised treatment that will hit only the cancer cells. "It will cut the process of finding a personalised treatment for each patient down to a week or two." Because the hydrogel can be modified to mimic the firmness of cartilage or softness of breast tissue it can be used to create models for all types of cancer and also for research on stem cells and tissue engineering. The IHBI research team includes Dr Daniela Loessner, Associate Professor Travis Klein and PhD student Christoph Meinert. The study, Functionalization, preparation and use of cell-laden gelatin methacryloyl-based hydrogels as modular tissue culture platforms was published this week. The new hydrogel discovery is part of Biofabrication Research led by Professor Hutmacher at IHBI, which launched the world's first Master of Biofabrication, a dual Australian and European master degree. "We are seeking more students for the masters course at IHBI from all science and technology disciplines," Professor Hutmacher says. "Biofabrication is the future of medicine. It is a multidisciplinary area of research that requires an understanding of chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, robotics and computer science and we welcome graduates from any of these fields to apply for the master degree." Explore further: Breakthrough in 3-D printing of replacement body parts More information: Daniela Loessner et al. Functionalization, preparation and use of cell-laden gelatin methacryloyl–based hydrogels as modular tissue culture platforms, Nature Protocols (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2016.037


Browne C.,QUT
ICGA Journal | Year: 2014

Bitboards allow the efficient encoding of games for computer play and the application of fast bitwise-parallel algorithms for common game-related operations. This article describes: (1) a selection of bitboard techniques including an introduction to bitboards and bitwise operations, (2) a classification scheme that distinguishes filter, query and update methods, and (3) a sampling of bitboard algorithms for a range of games other than chess, with notes on their performance and practical application. Source


Medication administration is an important and essential nursing function with the potential for dangerous consequences if errors occur. Not only must nurses understand the use and outcomes of administering medications they must be able to calculate correct dosages. Medication administration and dosage calculation education occurs across the undergraduate program for student nurses. Research highlights inconsistencies in the approaches used by academics to enhance the student nurse's medication calculation abilities. The aim of this integrative review was to examine the literature available on effective education strategies for undergraduate student nurses on medication dosage calculations. A literature search of five health care databases: Sciencedirect, Cinahl, Pubmed, Proquest, Medline to identify journal articles between 1990 and 2012 was conducted. Research articles on medication calculation educational strategies were considered for inclusion in this review. The search yielded 266 papers of which 20 meet the inclusion criteria. A total of 5206 student nurse were included in the final review. The review revealed educational strategies fell into four types of strategies; traditional pedagogy, technology, psychomotor skills and blended learning. The results suggested student nurses showed some benefit from the different strategies; however more improvements could be made. More rigorous research into this area is needed. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


News Article | November 3, 2015
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

QUT scientists have discovered the gene that will open the door for space-based food production.


News Article | April 18, 2016
Site: http://www.cemag.us/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Oil spills at sea, on the land, and in your own kitchen could one day easily be mopped up with a new multipurpose fabric covered with semiconducting nanostructures, developed by a team of researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), CSIRO, and RMIT. “The fabric could also potentially degrade organic matter when exposed to light thanks to these semi-conducting properties,” says Associate Professor Anthony O’Mullane, from QUT’s School of Chemistry, Physics and Chemical Engineering, who collaborated with researchers from CSIRO and RMIT on this project. “This fabric repels water and attracts oil. We have tested it and found it effective at cleaning up crude oil, and separating organic solvents, ordinary olive and peanut oil from water,” he says. “We were able to mop up crude oil from the surface of fresh and salt water.” O’Mullane says the chemistry behind the creation of the new material was not complex. “All steps in its production are easy to carry out and, in principle, production of this fabric could be scaled up to be used on massive oil spills that threaten land and marine ecosystems,” he says. “On a large scale the material could mop up crude oil to saturation point and then be washed with a common organic solvent and reused. “We used nylon, but in principle any fabric could work. We took commercially available nylon that already had a seed layer of silver woven into it which makes it easier to carry out the next part of the process — addition of the copper. “We then dipped this fabric into a vat where a copper layer was electrochemically deposited onto it. “Now with a copper coating, we converted the fabric into a semiconducting material with the addition of another solution that causes nanostructures to grow on the fabric’s surface — the key to its enhanced properties. “The nanostructures are like tiny rods that cover the surface of the fabric. Water just runs straight off it but the rods attract and hold oil. “Also, when the fabric is saturated it allows the oil to permeate where it then acts like a sieve to separate oil and water.” O’Mullane said the fabric could have multiple uses. “What is particularly exciting is that it is multifunctional and can separate water from other liquids like a sieve, it is self-cleaning, antibacterial, and being a semiconductor opens up further applicability,” he says. “Its antibacterial properties arising from the presence of copper could be used to kill bugs while also separating water from industrial waste in waterways or decontaminate water in remote and poor communities where water contamination is an issue. “Because it is also a semi-conductor it can interact with visible light to degrade organic pollutants such as those found in waste water streams.” O’Mullane says the next step was to test the scalability of the approach and if the material was mechanically robust. “Our testing has shown the material is chemically robust but we need to investigate whether the nanostructures can withstand tough wear conditions.” The research was published in the journal ChemPlusChem. The team consisted of Dr. Faegheh Hoshyargar and Associate Professor O’Mullane (QUT), Dr. Louis Kyratzis and Dr. Anand Bhatt (CSIRO) and Manika Mahajan, Anuradha and Dr. Sheshanath Bhosale (RMIT). Source: Queensland University of Technology

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