Scientists 3D Print an Entire Human Ear in Lab
The unthinkable has happened. Researchers have managed to develop a 3D printer that is capable of bioprinting tissues to be used in transplants. These transplants can include muscle, bone, cartilage and even an entire human ear, which is precisely what the team has achieved.
The study has been published by researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has provided modern medicine with a 3D printer called the integrated tissue-organ printer (ITOP). It is the first of its kind printer capable of printing human-scale tissue constructs.
Even though the technology has still not been tested on humans, the team has tried it with lab rats where 3D printed tissues were attached to them. These tissues included bioprinted bone tissue which were then analysed after a period of 5 months. It was discovered at the end of the set duration that the implants were completely free of necrosis, while also showing presence of new vascularised tissue.
This incredible development has ushered in endless possibilities for people requiring muscle repair treatment post accidents or diseases. Even though currently the study is only in its nascent stages, it has some big achievements to its credit. We can only hope for the progress graph to move upwards from here.