A young woman became the first person in the world to receive a 3D printed ear made from her own cells.
The 20-year-old, known only as Alexa de Mexicowas born with a rare congenital defect that causes the outer part of the ear to be small and malformed.
Doctors hope the transplant will “revolutionize” medicine by creating a treatment for people with microtia.
The rare congenital condition in which one or both outer ears are incompletely formed can also affect hearing.
Dr. Arturo Bonilla, a pediatric ear reconstruction surgeon in San Antonio, performed the surgery by removing half a gram of cartilage from Alexa’s microtyrical ear residue and then sending it to 3DBio Therapeutics in Long Island City, Queens, along with a 3D scan of her. healthy ear.
‘Revolutionary’: A 20-year-old woman named Alexa has become the first person in the world to receive a 3D printed ear made from her own cells. Pictured on the left is Alexa’s ear before the transplant, while on the right are the results 30 days after the procedure.
HOW IS A 3D PRINTED EAR CREATED?
Pioneering surgery is designed to be a treatment for people with microtia, a rare birth defect that causes the outer part of the ear to be small and malformed.
Doctors first remove half a gram of cartilage from a patient’s microtinal ear residue.
This is then sent to 3DBio Therapeutics in Long Island City, Queens, along with a 3D scan of her healthy ear.
3DBio Therapeutics has developed the implant called AuriNovo.
Once with the company, the patient Chondrocytes – cells responsible for cartilage formation – are isolated from the tissue sample and grown with nutrients to make them billions of cells.
These cells are mixed with collagen-based bio-ink, which is formed into the outer ear after being embedded in a specialty 3D bio-printer.
The implant is surrounded by a printed, biodegradable shell, to provide early support, but which is then absorbed into the patient’s body.
The implanted ear is thought to mature over time, developing the natural look and feel, including elasticity, of a regular ear.
Once there, the woman’s Chondrocytes – cells responsible for cartilage formation – were isolated from the tissue sample and grown with nutrients to make them billions of cells.
These cells are mixed with collagen-based bio-ink, which is formed into the outer ear after being inserted into a specialty 3D bio-printer with a syringe.
The implant is surrounded by a printed, biodegradable shell, to provide early support, but which is absorbed into the patient’s body over time.
Over time, the implanted ear is likely to mature, developing the natural look and feel, including elasticity, of a regular ear, and being a mirror image of the patient’s healthy ear.
The whole printing process took less than 10 minutes.
“This is so exciting, sometimes I have to moderate myself a little bit,” Dr. Bonilla said New York Times.
‘If everything goes as planned, this will revolutionize the way it’s done.’
He added: “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 can mean for microtia patients and their families. ‘
AuriNovo, as the implant is called, was developed by the company 3DBio Therapeutics.
Dr. Bonilla said he hoped it would one day replace the current treatment for microtia, which involves either grafting cartilage from a patient’s ribs or using synthetic materials, porous polyethylene (PPE), to reconstruct outer ears.
He and his team said the surgery was performed as part of an early-stage clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of the implant.
The clinical trial is expected to recruit 11 patients and is being conducted in California and Texas.
Bonilla said: “The AuriNovo implant requires a less invasive surgical procedure than the use of rib cartilage for reconstruction.
‘We also expect it to result in a more flexible ear than reconstruction with a PPE implant.’
AuriNovo, as the implant is called, was developed by the company 3DBio Therapeutics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, microtia occurs in about 1 in 2,000,000,000 babies.
Factors that may increase risk include diabetic mothers and a lower maternal diet in carbohydrates and folic acid.
Boys are more likely to be affected than girls, with Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Indians more affected than non-Hispanic whites.
Looking forward, 3DBio wants to develop implants with more severe forms of microtia.
Scientists hope that 3D-printed implants could also be used for other conditions involving cartilage, including nasal defects or injuries, chest reconstruction, a damaged meniscus in the knee or rotator cuff tears in shoulders.
“Our initial indications focus on cartilage in the reconstructive and orthopedic fields, and then our pipeline builds on this progress to expand into the neurosurgical and organ system fields,” 3DBio says on its website.
3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY MAKES SUBJECT MATERIAL DEPOSITION AFTER LAYER.
First invented in the 1980s by Chuck Hull, an engineer and physicist, 3D printing technology – also called additive manufacturing – is the process of making an object by depositing material, one layer at a time.
Similar to how an inkjet printer adds individual dots of ink to form an image, a 3D printer adds material where it is needed, based on a digital file.
Many conventional manufacturing processes have involved cutting off excess materials to make a part, and this can lead to a waste of up to 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) per pound of useful material, according to the Tennessee Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In contrast, with some 3D printing processes about 98 percent of the raw material is used in the finished part, and the method can be used to make small components using plastics and metal powders, and some are also experimenting with chocolate and other foods. as biomaterials similar to human cells.
3D printers have been used to make everything from prosthetic limbs to robots, and the process follows these basic steps:
· Create 3D sketch using computer aided design (CAD) software
· Preparation of the printer, including refilling of raw materials such as plastics, metal powders and bonding solutions.
· Starting the printing process with the machine that builds the object.
· 3D printing processes may vary, but material extrusion is the most common, and it acts as a glue gun: the printing material is heated until it is liquidated and is extruded through the printing nozzle.
· Using information from the digital file, the design is divided into two-dimensional sections so that the printers know where to place the material.
· The aid deposits the polymer in thin layers, often 0.1 millimeters (0.004 inches) thick.
· The polymer solidifies quickly, bonding to the bottom layer before the construction platform is lowered and the print head adds another layer (depending on the object, the whole process can take from minutes to days.)
· Once printing is complete, each object requires some post-processing, from gluing the object off the construction platform to removing support, to removing excess dust.