USC physicist Bacabac to join US-based training in 3D printing and artificial intelligence

Dr. Rommel G. Bacabac, a full professor at the USC Department of Physics and head of the USC Medical Biophysics Group (MBG), has been selected as a visiting researcher for a prestigious six-month training at the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville, USA.

Out of 60 applicants all over the Philippines, Dr. Bacabac is one of the four candidates who will receive a grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the “Training in Additive Manufacturing with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” in the University of Tennessee under the research group of Professor Rigoberto Advincula, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair of Advanced and Nanostructured Materials.

Dr. Bacabac with one of his Bio X 3D printers in the MBG Center for Tissue Engineering and Biological Soft Materials.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the industrial production name for 3D printing and it is considered as an emerging discipline in manufacturing while artificial intelligence (AI) is more focused on informational applications. 

There is, however, an emerging field that combines additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence giving rise to modern and future AI-AM applications, which opens the possibility and reality of creating highly advanced 3D models with the help of AI. 

This latest development holds a promising future for the University of San Carlos’ research centers, particularly the Medical Biophysics Group (MBG). 

USC’s MBG Center for Tissue Engineering and Biological Soft Materials was established when Dr. Bacabac acquired the Niche Centers in the Regions for Research and Development (NICER) Program, USC’s very first NICER grant and among the very few established all over the Philippines. 

MBG Center for Tissue Engineering and Biological Soft Materials is also equipped with optical tweezers that use lasers to manipulate cells.

The current NICER grant in the University is working on developing injectable tissue scaffolds and bolus shields for radiation therapy as well as 3D printing artificial tissues and composite bone implants for reconstructive surgery and other related applications. Here, MBG collaborates with DOST’s Materials Development (MATDEV) Laboratory – Industrial Technology Development Institute and the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital. 

Hence, Dr. Bacabac’s participation in the additive manufacturing training is crucial in the development of USC’s current research efforts in 3D printing especially if artificial intelligence will come into play. 

According to him, combining AI with the current technologies used in tissue engineering and soft matter physics applications can be groundbreaking. “The use of appropriate AI methods will allow us to design products more efficiently through the tons of experimental data we will generate ourselves supplemented by data mined from various other sources,” he shared. 

Dr. Bacabac’s upcoming training in the University of Tennessee will equip him with advanced computational techniques and specialized knowledge on the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence which he can use in his 3D printing and soft matter research projects not just for the benefit of the University but the entire country.

by Syrine Gladys Podadera

This entry was posted in Events and Updates, Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.