Oregon Health & Science University and one other hospital in Florida have partnered to launch the first-ever U.S. clinical trials for kids, who were born …
The subjects – aged between six and 10 – suffer from a defect in one ear called microtia, which impacts its shape and function.
Scientists in China collected cartilage cells from the kids’ ears and grew new scaffolds based on 3D print-outs.
These were dotted with tiny holes, gradually filled out by the cells.
The tissue was then implanted into a skin flap to reconstruct the ear, a process that took several months.
The first child to go through the procedure two and a half years ago showed no signs the body had rejected the new cells.
Scientists will now monitor the kids for at least five years to determine the success of the project.
They will check whether the ears remain intact after the scaffold has broken down.
“Long-term follow-up of the cartilage properties and clinical outcomes…will be essential”
The researchers wrote: “We were able to successfully design, fabricate and regenerate patient-specific external ears.
“Nevertheless, further efforts remain necessary to eventually translate this prototype work into routine clinical practices.
“In the future, long-term follow-up of the cartilage properties and clinical outcomes…will be essential.”
The study was published this month in the journal EBioMedicine.
It shares similarities with the so-called ear mouse experiment in 1997, when a surgeon grafted cartilage onto the animal’s back.
Daily Star Online previously revealed a surgeon is working on a bionic vagina to help women with rare genetic conditions.
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Frank Herzog is the founder and CEO of Concept Laser, which makes the world’s largest industrial printer for metals. His printers can already produce delicate jewelry and medical implants as well as massive engine blocks for trucks. They even started printing “bionic” components for planes. “Bionic design allows you to adapt structures from nature and find the most optimal solution,” says Daniel Hund, Concept Laser’s marketing director.
Last fall, GE acquired a majority stake in Herzog’s company and folded Concept Laser into GE Additive, a new GE business dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services. GE Reports visited Concept Laser in May. Take a look at some of the components Herzog’s machines printed.
(Endadget.com) — A new type of soft bionic finger that can move like the fingers on the human hand has been developed by researchers from the Florida Atlantic University. For the most authentic-looking design, they downloaded a CAD model of a human digit and used a 3D printer to create squishy inner and outer molds. Inside, they placed two actuators made of shape memory alloys, which can “remember” and return to their original shapes even after they get bent or deformed, so long as they’re heated. The extensor actuator straightens up when heat is applied, while the flexor actuator curves.
The research team reports there are still “challenges with this technology such as the lengthy amount of time it takes for them to cool and return to their natural shape.” That’s why the team has decided that the technology will be used for underwater robots first, as the environment enables rapid cooling.