I’ve never seen a technology become so quickly incorporated into our lives to help so many people as 3D printing. The last time I remember something having such a massive impact like this was when the iPhone was first released. Here is yet another example of how 3D printing will change some people’s lives forever, and for the better. Scientists are now able to create 3D printed artificial ears that look, feel and function like human ears.
These 3D printed ears would be a much needed solution for those people who have lost their ears during an accident or from cancer. They would also be a life changing solution for children who are born with a birth defect called Microtia which is where the external ear is not fully developed. This not only causes those children to be embarrassed of their ears, it also causes hearing loss. These 3D printed ears could fix all that.
The process is complex, but simple enough to understand. According to 3D Printing Industry, it takes “half a day to build the mold, a day to print it, 30 minutes to inject the living gel (human cells) and the ear can be removed just 15 minutes later. At this point, it spends 2-3 months in an incubator while the tissue fills in and looks white, just like real cartilage.” The ears can be made from a mold of the patient’s own ears, or if they don’t have ears then ears in the correct size can be created from scratch.
Since actual living cells from the patient who will benefit from these 3D printed ears are used to make them, there is a much less chance the body will reject them as a new body part, which makes these ears a more viable option than some other methods of replacing ears. These ears are designed to last on the body for decades. Doctors and scientists hope this process will actually start being used in about three years. This is incredible and inspiring!
3D Printed Ears That Look, Feel & Function Like Normal Human Ears
Via: [Fox News]