Doctors Transplant 3-D Printed Ear Made of Human Cells

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3DBio Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company based in Queens, New York, 3-D printed an ear from a patient’s own cells. It was a replica of her healthy ear and was transplanted in March, her new ear will regenerate cartilage. Adam Feinberg, professor of biomedical engineering and material science at Carnegie Mellon stated: “it is certainly a big deal. “ He is not affiliated with 3DBio Therapeutics. The company performed this procedure within a clinical trial for 11 patients and it is ongoing. Given the ear was created from the patient’s own cells, it should continue to develop without complications.

Dr. Arturo Bonilla, a pediatric ear reconstructive surgeon in San Antonio who conducted the operation mentioned the following: “If everything goes as planned, this will revolutionize the way this is done.”

Teams have applied 3-D printing technology to build custom-fit prosthetic limbs made of plastic and lightweight metals. The ear implant appears to be the first known example of a 3-D printed implant made of living tissues.

The 3-D printing process makes a solid, three-dimensional object from a digital model. The technology uses a computer-controlled printer adding thin layers to generate the exact shape from the digital model.

3DBio Therapeutics blended numerous proprietary technologies, executives said,  including a method for cultivating small sample of a patient’s cells into billions of cells. The company’s 3-D printer applies a collagen-based “bio ink” that is safe in the human body and maintains a sterile environment.

We continue to see more advances in regenerative medicine as treatments. Please watch this space as the innovations move forward.

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