In a medical milestone, a 3-D printed ear made with the patient’s own cells has been successfully transplanted by the scientists at 3DBio Therapeutics of New York City.
Harbinger of a new era of regenerative medicine
It is believed to be the first time that a 3D printed implant made of living tissues has been transplanted. It is a major advancement in the field of tissue engineering and could revolutionize medicine.
Now, these 3D-printed implants could also be used for the issues such as nose defects, breast reconstruction, or rotator cuffs.
3DBio CEO Daniel Cohen said, “It comes in as a biopsy from the patient, and it leaves a living ear,”
The surgery was performed on a 20-year-old woman from Mexico. She was born with a malformed ear due to a rare congenital disorder called microtia.
Researchers 3D scanned the patient’s opposite ear to create a blueprint. As a result, the new ear was designed to perfectly match her left ear. Then they collected a sample of their ear cartilage cells and grew them. These cells were then mixed with collagen-based bio-ink. A special 3D printer then used “bio-ink” based on collagen to print the ear.
Arturo Bonilla, the surgeon who performed the procedure, said, “As a physician who has treated thousands of children with microtia from across the country and around the world, I am inspired by what this technology may mean for microtia patients and their families,”
Bonilla added, “This study will allow us to investigate the safety and aesthetic properties of this new procedure for ear reconstruction using the patient’s own cartilage cells,”