A year of world-changing innovations

27 July 2018
From 3D printed bones and new drugs that combat addiction to an iWitness app that aids convictions and prevents miscarriages of justice, the University is a hub of innovation.

To celebrate our third annual Innovation Week, on from 30 July – 6 August, we look back at some of the key innovations and discoveries from our academics and students during the past year.

Our innovations


'Squirtable' elastic glue seals wounds in 60 seconds

A highly elastic and adhesive surgical glue that quickly seals wounds without the need for common staples or sutures could transform how surgeries are performed.

Watch the surgical glue in action

App helps witnesses and victims of crime record information

Innovation assists victims and witnesses to record information in a way that can help with convictions and prevent miscarriages of justice.

Learn how the iWitness app is reporting crimes

Spin off launched to develop anti-addiction drugs

Novel anti-addiction compounds that mimic the “love hormone” oxytocin are being developed into drugs that could treat addiction and substance use disorders, including the abuse of alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs.

Read about the Kinoxis launch

Zinc-air batteries that could revolutionise rechargeability

A solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing zinc-air batteries from overtaking conventional lithium-ion batteries as the power source of choice in electronic devices.

See how we're making batteries last longer

3D printers to repair bones and hearts

We're developing techniques to use a patient’s own cells to generate personalised biological ‘ink’ and 3D print living human heart tissues for transplantation. We’re also working towards taking a CT scan of a patient's bone defect and feeding it straight into a 3D printer in the operating theatre for personalised bone replacements.

Learn more about our 3D bioprinting research

Historic first detection of gravitational waves 

This world-first caused a media frenzy and put our radio astronomers in the spotlight.

How we helped pinpoint where the waves originated

Sydney's super-fast blockchain gets even faster

Global trials have shown Sydney’s super-fast ‘Red Belly Blockchain’ can process financial transactions 50 percent faster than first anticipated – outperforming some market leaders, including VISA, for world-wide payments.

Read about Red Belly Blockchain

Discovery expected to open a new field of chemistry

A new way of joining groups of atoms together into shape-changing molecules – opening up the possibility of a new area of chemistry and the development of countless new drugs, microelectronics and materials with novel characteristics.

See why our discovery invokes Louis Pasteur

Koala genome sequenced for first time

World-first sequencing of the koala genome will inform conservation efforts, aid in the treatment of diseases and help to ensure the koala’s long-term survival.

Watch our academics explain this world-first

Real-time monitoring patch for high-risk pregnancies

A PhD student is developing a real-time monitoring pregnancy patch with potential to help cut rates of unnecessary interventions, and where needed, intervene earlier to avoid complications.

Read about the $1M government backing

Customisable pillow and device that detects airborne pathogens

PhD students’ inventions will revolutionise the way we sleep, with perfectly customisable pillows that align to the curves of our spines, and help protect us from airborne diseases, with a system that can detect pathogens in the air.

Learn more about these prize-winning inventions

Scientists unlock path to use cell's nanoparticles as biomarkers

New method to identify individual nanoparticles released by human cells, opening the way for them to become diagnostic tools in the early-detection of cancers, dementia and kidney disease.

How this discovery could revolutionise stem-cell medicine

Smart food packaging to reduce Australia’s waste problems

Smart food packaging could be near thanks to new research in ‘printable food ink sensors’. These inks are designed to detect gases produced by bacteria in order to provide us with a timely insight into our food’s quality.

Could this spell the end of expiry dates? Read more

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