Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

A 20-year-old woman born with a small and malformed ear received a new 3D-printed ear made up of her cells. The ear, which was designed to perfectly match her other ear, was successfully transplanted onto her head earlier this year in a clinical trial.

The company behind this impressive feat of tissue engineering is 3DBio Therapeutics.

“It’s definitely a big deal,” Carnegie Mellon biomedical engineering researcher Adam Feinburg told The New York Times. “It shows this technology is not an ‘if’ anymore, but a ‘when,’” Feinburg, who was not part of the project, adds.

Remarkably, the company says that the ear will continue to grow, generating new cartilage tissue.

How did they do it?

To build the ear, the company used about half a gram of the patient’s cells and grew them into billions of new cells using a “proprietary technology.” The next step was for a special 3D printer to print the ear with collagen-based “bio-ink.”

“It comes in as a biopsy from the patient, and it leaves a living ear,” explains 3DBio CEO Daniel Cohen.

While the company has undergone the necessary federal regulator reviews, however, they remain secretive about the technical details of the procedure. This could also be because the clinical trial, which involves 11 patients, is still in progress.

“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,” says Arturo Bonilla, the surgeon who transplanted the ear.

“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.”

Now, 3DBio Therapeutics hopes to apply its technology to other body parts such as spinal discs, noses, and rotator cuffs. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Domino effect: pizza place splurges on electric delivery fleet

Domino's Pizza is investing in a fleet of 800 electric Chevrolet Bolts painted in Domino's livery to supplement its understaffed driving crew. As the ...

Read More

Germany is turning 62 Cold War military bases into sanctuaries for wildlife

Wildlife in Germany will get a quarter more land to roam over, as the country’s government has decided to turn 62 unused military bases ...

Read More

The case for shifting to a four-day workweek for post-pandemic life

At The Optimist Daily, we’re putting a lot of focus on what the world can do after the pandemic to create a healthier, more ...

Read More

Try these yoga poses for deeper sleep

Yoga is a practice meant to boost mindfulness and physical wellness, so it’s no surprise that it can also improve sleep. If you’re one ...

Read More