Bioengineers and physicians at New York Presbyterian, formerly Cornell University Medical Center, have successfully used a 3-D printer with injectable gels made of living cells to create an artificial ear that looks like a human ear. Now that’s a win-win for medicine and science!
For people who were born without an ear (atresia), people born with a partial ear (microtia) and people who lost part or all of an ear from trauma or cancer, surgeons have long been using implants and grafts to reconstruct the ear. This 3-D artificial ear, made from living cells, is a major advance in that the reconstruction is likely to be more symmetric, more realistic and less likely to be rejected. Doctors and researchers predict that the first human implant of an artificial ear created by a 3-D printer may occur in as little as 3 years!
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