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Grown inside 3D-printed molds: new ears for children

  • Posted by admin on January 31, 2018

For the first time, scientists in China have created new ears for five children using their own cells grown in a 3D-printed mold.

All five kids, between the ages of six and nine, were born with one underdeveloped ear, a condition called microtia. Though kids with microtia do tend to have hearing loss in their deformed ear, most of the time they can hear fairly well out of the other one. So, the new ears were grown for cosmetic reasons. First, the scientists made a 3D-printed model of the children’s healthy ears, then reversed it to make a mold of what the other ear would look like. Next, they collected cartilage cells from the deformed ear and grew them in the biodegradable mold for three months. Finally, they grafted the new ears,…

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