World’s First 3D Printed Ear Made From Living Tissue Successfully Implanted On Patient

Before and after photo of a patient with microtia - left photo shows underdeveloped ear and right photo shows the transplanted full form ear.

Microtia is a condition which causes the ear to remain small and undeveloped. People with this condition have received 3D printed ear implants made out of polymers but thanks to a new method created by New York based 3DBio Therapeutics, a recipient recently received a 3D printed ear implant made from her own living tissue. 

This implant, named AuriNovo, is a patient-matched 3D implant specifically for Microtia. The process starts with a 3D scan of the patient’s opposite ear to get an accurate geometry for the full form ear implant. In the next step, a collagen hydrogel scaffold is printed using a custom printer the company has built and the patient’s own auricular cartilage (outermost portion of the ear) cells are integrated into the scaffold, creating a full sized living ear, ready for transplant. The printer uses artificial intelligence to print the complex materials and geometries for the ear.

Ear scaffold shown absorbing cell fluids.
Ear scaffold absorbing cell fluids.

This implant is part of as study that started in August 2021 with 11 patients in the trial. The first implant surgery occurred back in March this year. Through this study, the the company aims to investigate the safety and aesthetic properties of this new procedure.

Read the source link and watch the video below for more information.


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