(Biomaterials Historic view:)
About the Society
The Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (formerly The Australian Society for Biomaterials and the Australasian Society for Biomaterials) was formed in 1989. It provides a national focus for professionals who have interests in research, education, development and regulation of biomaterials, tissue engineering and medical devices. Internationally, the Society is a member of the group of Biomaterials Societies who coordinate international activities, including the World Biomaterials Congress.
Australia has, for a long time, had a range of activities in the Biomaterials field. Initial activities were in the dental field, where laboratories for development, testing and standardisation of dental materials were established. In the 1970’s biomaterials research was mostly focussed in clinical departments associated with Universities and major teaching hospitals, for example Huckstep at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) developing materials and devices for orthopaedic repair. In addition, there was research at selected University departments, for example the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, also at UNSW. Research activities also supported a few new manufacturers, for example in the development of pacing devices by Telectronics. In the 1980’s there was a significant growth of research into biomaterials, with new and expanding activities in the Universities and through the involvement of various government research laboratories, for example CSIRO and ANSTO.
Despite this broad range of activity which had developed, there was no focus for discussion and communication between researchers. In 1988 Dr Alan Jones of the Federal Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce recognised the increased research activity in biomaterials and published a survey of activities and opportunities, “Polymeric Biomaterials”. Next, Dr Jones organised a conference, which included other biomaterials activities as well, which was held in Leura, NSW, in May 1989. Following this conference, a broader publication “Biomaterials” was produced, which included abstracts from the meeting.
A major consequence of bringing together many of the Australian biomaterials research community was that participants decided that there was a need for regular meetings and for a focus for other biomaterials related activities. Thus a society, “The Australian Society for Biomaterials”, was founded in order to provide this focus. The Founder members of the Society were Professor Rolfe Howlett; Dr John Ramshaw; Dr Jerome Werkmeister; Dr John Bateman and Dr Graham Ellender.
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