The world is a complex system of biodiversity, individual components interacting, giving and taking from one another. As we begin to truly understand this concept, we can begin to harness the power of living in symbiosis with our environment. Take seaweed, for instance. Researchers at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia have been exploring the use of seaweed in 3D printed medical implants.
Dr. Pia Winberg of UOW’s Shoalhaven Marine & Freshwater Centre has been looking into the industrial applications of seaweed through her spin-off company, Venus Shell Systems Pty Ltd. One such application is the use of seaweed gels in tissue engineering and medical implants, with the seaweed extract simultaneously acting as a support structure and defending against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Winberg explains: “These gels are highly cell compatible and even stimulate the health and development of human stem cells, so in the instance of looking for new polymer materials for medical implants, seaweeds are a key candidate for the source of such materials.” … (Read more)