Creating An Artificial Ear Using 3d Printers

The field of tissue generation using stem cells along with various methods is on the rise as new technologies allow this to occur. Scientists are having fun playing God as they create life bit by bit, starting with the creation and building of organic body parts. This time they’ve built an ear by injecting living cells through a 3D printer.

When an ear is lost – or any body part for this matter – through accidents or disease, a replacement is often sought after. But many prosthetics are too expensive, look bad or don’t serve any functioning purpose, or

all of the above. It is rare for these primitive prosthetics to be naturally & aesthetically pleasing or to be properly functioning. However, with the advent of high technology and our newer understanding of stem cells we can look into ways to better replace lost body parts.

Recently researchers at Cornell University have created a human ear by injecting cow cartilage onto a biological canvas. The reason for the selection of cow tissue is the relative abundance as compared to human ear cartilage. However, the primary purpose and usage will involve taking a patient’s own ear/stem cells to artificially build a functioning ear that will not be rejected by the patient’s own immune system, while also looking

very natural and aesthetically pleasing.

This job specifically was to create an ear for a child. By using laser scanning, they created a 3D model of the child’s twin’s ear of which they then made a mold for. Using the mold they filled it with collagens – which is a basic protein needed for tissue development – that once formed, became the scaffold for the cow cells to stick onto, and eventually transform into healthy cartilage. After a couple of weeks the ear was flexible and appeared to be working, the study found.

Though creation of body parts is relatively new, it is a very hot topic and research is constantly being done for it. The potential is high but unknown; for there is still much to be learned of stem cells and their ability of differentiation.

Mandal, Ananya, MD. "Collagen - What Is Collagen?" Collagen - What Is Collagen?News Medical, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
Guarini, Drew. "Scientists Create New Ear Using 3D Printing And Living Cell Injections." The Huffington Post., 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.


Article Written By GDop26

RIT student

Last updated on 22-07-2016 104 0

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