According to Dr. Strappe, who has been working as Senior Lecturer in Medical Laboratory Science at CQUniversity for 20 years in Molecular Virology, “The CQUni has a state-of-the-art 3D printing facility which is primarily used for engineering applications; however, the Medical students will use this technology to begin to understand concepts about how viruses are formed and enter cells, and how parts of the virus can be targets for therapeutic intervention. Viruses cannot be seen with the naked eye, and working with pathogenic viruses is untenable for undergraduates. 3D printing allows scaling up the structure of these viruses so students can learn more about virus structure and shape and relate these features to pathogenesis and recent outbreaks. For example, we are in the middle of a flu epidemic, and by printing a high-resolution influenza virus, we can highlight the part of the virus (haemmagluttin) that changes every year, causing new outbreaks and the need for annual vaccination. This project exposes medical science students to engineering concepts such as computer-aided design and advanced manufacturing, which they normally wouldn’t encounter in their degree. This helps students think beyond their subject’s confines and develop interdisciplinary skills that students will need in the field.”
Published:28 September 2017.