February 21, 2013

Scientists use 3D printing to help grow an ear

02_20_13bioengineeredear.jpeg Printing out body parts? Cornell University researchers showed it's possible by creating a replacement ear using a 3D printer and injections of living cells. [via stuff]

quotemarksright.jpgThe work reported Wednesday is a first step toward one day growing customized new ears for children born with malformed ones, or people who lose one to accident or disease.

This first-step work crafted a human-shaped ear that grew with cartilage from a cow, easier to obtain than human cartilage, especially the uniquely flexible kind that makes up ears. Study co-author Dr Jason Spector of Weill Cornell Medical Center is working on the next step - how to cultivate enough of a child's remaining ear cartilage in the lab to grow an entirely new ear that could be implanted in the right spot. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Full Cornell press relase: New Bioengineered Ears Look and Act Like the Real Thing.

Related: - 3D printing a new ear Ernst Jan Bos, a Dutch medical researcher at VUMC, Amsterdam is using a Ultimaker 3D printer to print 'scaffold' upon which new human body parts may one day be grown. As a specialist in plastic surgery he hopes this technology could be used for facial reconstruction of burn patient. via 3ders.org.