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Robots and 3D Bio-printing: Shaping Surgery

7 November 2018 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm

Robots & 3D Bio-Printing banner

Much has changed in the field of surgery in the past 50 years; new technology is changing the way surgeons operate.

While surgery has traditionally been a speciality characterised by hand skills and, at times, ‘educated improvisation’, it is now becoming a field where robots, computer guidance, 3D printing and bio-printing are changing the way surgeons operate, sometimes ‘driving’ their hands to levels of precisions never imagined before.

In the recent years, 3D printing and bio-printing have gained increasing interest in surgery. 3D Printing can already be used in a wide variety of ways in surgery, for example:

  1. for the manufacturing of anatomic models that mimic the patient’s anatomy (including deformities, microvasculature, cancers);
  2. to produce patient-specific cutting guides that drive the surgeon’s hand in performing precise cuts for bone removal; or
  3. to create custom made implants that help managing complex surgical problems. More recently, the possibility of 3D printing live cells in a specific environment, have further opened the possibilities in the field of regenerative medicine. This technique carries huge expectations from the surgical community, because it promises the potential regeneration of entire living organs.

Dr Claudia Di Bella will explore and discuss the technological advances now available to surgeons and the ones that will possibly become a reality in the near future.

She will also discuss the current state of the art in bio-printing from a surgical prospective, focusing on its application in the musculoskeletal field. Dr Di Bella will highlight the current roadblocks for the application of this technique in clinical practice, as well as the expectations and the promises for the future seen with the eyes of the final user.


About Dr Claudia Di Bella, MD PhD FRACS FAOrthA

Dr Claudia Di Bella is an academic orthopaedic surgeon highly specialised in musculoskeletal oncology, advanced robotic assisted surgery and 3D printing.

Dr Di Bella graduated in medicine and surgery in 2002 (Bologna University, Italy) and subsequently obtained her specialist recognition as orthopaedic surgeon in 2007 (Bologna University, Ita) as well as a PhD in Oncology and Experimental pathology in 2012 (Bologna University). Dr Di Bella moved to Australia (Melbourne) in December 2009, and in 2014 obtained the recognition as qualified Orthopaedic Surgeon by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

In 2015 Dr Di Bella became the leader of the Cartilage Regeneration Program of Research, a branch of the Advanced Limb reconstruction Program that has been developed at the Department of Surgery (University of Melbourne), centred over the use of advanced 3D printing technologies, including surgical 3D bioprinting, robotics and stem cells for the regeneration of the musculoskeletal system. In this role Dr Di Bella has led her team to successfully secure more than 12 national peer reviewed grants, reinforced and strengthened national and international collaboration with key players in the field, and strongly contributed to the advances of the Biofab3D, the first Australian biofabrication hub embedded in the hospital setting. The successes of Dr Di Bella’s team have been recently recognised internationally (multiple award winning at international tissue engineering societies) and nationally (Finalist at the prestigious NSW Eureka prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research), and showcased by national media such as ABC news, Channel 7 news, The Project (Channel 10) and National Geographic.

Dr Di Bella currently sits on the Education Committee at the University of Melbourne and on the Executive Committee at the Biofab3D; she also is a professional spokesperson at the Human Ethics Research Committee at St Vincent’s Hospital as well as a faculty member of the Academic Surgery of the Royal Australasian College of Surgery.

Dr Di Bella is very passionate about gender equality in STEM-M, and for this reason she is a mentor in the academic surgery program of the University of Melbourne as well as a mentor for women in medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital.


7 November 2018
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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Peter Doherty Institute
792 Elizabeth Street
Parkville, VIC 3000 Australia
View Venue Website


Convergence Science Network
03 8344 8405
View Organiser Website


Event type:
Suitable for:
Secondary students, Adults
Health and medical, Innovation and technology
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