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Bioprinted brain cell networks printed by researchers

Monash University used what they say is a tissue engineering approach, two bioinks containing living nerve cells and non-living cells, and 3D printing to successfully create 3D nerve networks that can grow in the laboratory and transmit and respond to nerve signals. In a statement on Wednesday, Monash said the researchers were able to mimic the arrangement of grey matter and white matter seen in the brain. Professor John Forsythe, the research lead, said while two-dimensional nerve cell cultures have previously been used to study the formation of nerve networks and disease mechanisms, those relatively flat structures don’t reflect the way neurons grow and interact with their surroundings. “The networks grown in this research closely replicated the 3D nature of circuits in a living brain, where nerve cells extend processes called neurites to form connections between different layers of the cortex,” said Forsythe. The group’s study, published in Advanced Healthcare Materials, can be accessed here.

BluGlass receives custom laser order from repeat customer 

Semiconductor developer BluGlass has received a custom gallium nitride (GaN) laser project order from an unnamed “leading USA-based research laboratory, who will use BluGlass’ lasers within high-powered scientific applications.” According to a statement on Tuesday, the order encompasses BluGlass’ multi-mode GaN lasers in custom laser bars – where multiple emitters are arrayed to address high-power applications. These bars will also feature custom lenses, attracting a higher average selling price (ASP). The order was “not financially material”, yet from a repeat customer and strategically significant. BluGlass CEO Jim Haden said, “Our flexible form factors and custom manufacturing capability are helping our customers solve  complex challenges and enable novel applications in large and growing industry verticals. Our packaging and manufacturing flexibility is also enabling us to establish ourselves as a partner-of-choice, providing a platform for our lasers to be designed into new applications as well as growing our early product revenues.”

WA government awards $1 billion in battery contracts

The Western Australian government has awarded over $1 billion in contracts to deliver battery energy storage systems in Kwinana and Collie. According to a statement on Tuesday, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited to supply about 300 EnerC Plus, containerised liquid-cooling battery systems for Kwinana Battery Stage Two, and about 650 EnerC Plus for Collie. Power Electronics will deliver 72 inverters for the Kwinana battery and 160 inverters for the Collie battery. Kwinana Battery Stage Two will provide 200 megawatts of power with 800 megawatt hours of energy storage, with construction estimated to be complete at the end of 2024. The Collie battery will be the biggest in WA, providing 500 megawatts with 2,000 megawatt hours of storage.

Grant guidelines available for Carbon Capture Technologies Program

Grant opportunity guidelines for the federal Carbon Capture Technologies Program (CCTP) are now available. The CCTP aims to support the research and development of new and novel ways to capture and use carbon dioxide, especially in hard to abate sectors such as cement manufacturing. Funding will also support research in negative emissions technologies such as direct air capture, and funding of up to $15 million per grant is available. CCTP stage 1 is now open for applications and will close on October 31. Eligibility and other information is available here.

F.E.S. Tanks gets Tasmanian distributor

Tanks manufacturer F.E.S. TANKS has partnered with Launceston-based business Northern Fuel Maintenance on supply of its “plug and play” range of Bloc and Grade tanks to Tasmania. F.E.S. TANKS makes self-bunded fuel storage tanks and mobile refuelling solutions for the transport, agricultural, commercial, industrial, mining, aviation and fuel retailing sectors. F.E.S. TANKS Director Daryl Cygler said, “Like us, Northern Fuel Maintenance is a family-owned business with a longstanding commitment to providing quality products and services to support local people.”

CSIRO releases guide on “nature positive future” for business

The CSIRO has released a new book which they say will guide businesses on how to report and account for their natural assets to better protect the environment. Much of the value and growth from the economy is drawn from natural resources as a variety of industries depend on, and profit, from them, the national science agency said in a statement. However, that growth has coincided with a catastrophic decline in natural systems, including a 70 per cent reduction in the average species population size since 1970. The Natural Capital Handbook delivers what is described as a practical step-by-step guidelines on how to measure and incorporate natural assets such as clean air, water, soil and living things into their operations. “While nature underpins our economic growth, the value of nature is excluded in dominant financial analysis tools and not always factored into decision-making by businesses,” said lead author and CSIRO scientist Dr Greg Smith. “This is now being recognised as a critical component in helping to reverse environment decline, and in future, is expected to become a mandatory requirement for businesses globally.”

MaxiTRANS to shut trailer manufacturing site in 2024

This week MaxiTRANS announced that it will shut its Carole Park, Queensland trailer manufacturing site as it moves to centralise operations in Ballarat, Victoria. Australian Trailer Solutions Group (ATSG) purchased the MaxiTRANS trailer business in September 2021, and was focussed on setting itself up for long-term sustainability, said Greg L’Estrange, MaxiTRANS Executive Chairman. “This is to ensure that we can remain a viable Australian business to continue supporting our customers long into the future, as we have done so for over 75 years in the industry.” ATSG said it would enter a new phase of expansion, and investing significantly to grow and develop the Ballarat site. The Carole Park facility was opened in February 2021, and is set to close at the end of March 2024, with all existing and future orders for these products to be produced at its Ballarat facility.

Picture: credit Bluglass

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