The patient, a 20-year-old lady, was born with a tiny and deformed ear owing to microtia, a rare congenital disease. Earlier this year, specialists 3D printed a new ear to match her previous one and grafted it onto her head in a clinical study.
According to 3DBio Therapeutics, the ear will even continue to grow, producing new cartilage tissue. This might be the first time when a 3D printed implant composed of living tissues was successfully transplanted onto a human patient.
The business expanded half a gram of cells collected from the patient into billions of cells using what it calls exclusive technology. The ear was then printed using a customized 3D printer that employed “bio-ink” based on collagen.
This study will enable the business to explore the safety and cosmetic aspects of this unique ear rebuilding process that uses the patient’s own cartilage cells.
3DBio Therapeutics now hopes to use the same process on additional body parts such as spinal discs, noses, and rotator cuffs. More complicated bodily components, such as organs, represent a significantly bigger difficulty than the ear, which serves just aesthetic purposes.
“It demonstrates that this technology is no longer a ‘if,’ but rather a ‘when.’
Reference- Businesswire, 3DBio Therapeutics website & online PR, Futurism, The New York Times Report