3-D printing to help create artificial ear cartilages

22 Feb 2013, 10:29
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3-D printing

Scientists at Cornell University in the U.S. claim they have developed a method to grow almost identical human ear within a few days using 3D-printer and special gel made of organic matter.


Thus, it will be possible to help hundreds of children who were born with congenital defects or even missing ears, and other patients with results of traumas.


Until now the only reliable option was to take a piece of rib, mold it into an ear shape and cover with skin. Scientists in New York are hoping their new technology will have a smaller chance of rejection and look more natural.


Bio-engineers from Cornell Medical College have implanted artificial ears in rats. They used computer 3D-printing to create collagen ear model to form a layer, which was covered with cells taken from a calf's ear. 3 months later, mice were found possesing well-formed ear cartilages.


Scientists hope that this technology can be used in human surgery within the next three years. The research report was published in the journal Public Library of Science One.


The director of the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery and co-author of report, Dr. Jason Spector said: "We have found a potential solution to one of the concerning problems in plastic surgery, furthermore we intend to help a lot of people".


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