A woman reconstructed her outer ear with a 3D-printed living tissue implant in what appears to be the first attempt of its kind, according to reports.
The technology was developed for people with microtiaa rare congenital condition in which one or both outer ears are absent or incompletely formed.
According to the New York Timesthe transplant was performed in the United States in March on a 20-year-old woman from Mexico who was born with a small and malformed right ear.
The company behind the implants, 3DBio Therapeutics, announced the reconstruction but in-depth details of the implant and procedure were unavailable for immediate examination.
The company said the implant is composed of a 3D-printed collagen hydrogel scaffold with the patient’s own cartilage cells. “The building is printed in a size and shape compatible with the patient’s opposite ear for implantation,” the press release says.
It is hoped that 11 patients with unilateral microtia will be enrolled in the clinical trial, conducted in Los Angeles, California, and San Antonio, Texas, according to the company, and the findings will be published in a medical journal.
Dr Arturo Bonilla, the surgeon who performed the procedure, said: and their families.This study will allow us to explore the safety and aesthetic features of this new procedure for ear reconstruction using the patient’s own cartilage cells.
Bonilla said the approach could replace current techniques for reconstructing the outer ear, which involves taking cartilage from patients’ ribs, a more invasive procedure or the use of porous polyethylene implants (PPE), with ears reconstructed using the new implant presumably more . flexible.
While long-term monitoring of those receiving the implants is needed, Dr. Daniel Cohen, the CEO of 3DBio, described the real-world application of the technology as a “truly historic moment.” He said he hoped the clinical trial could have potential beyond microtry.
“Our initial indications focus on cartilage in the reconstructive and orthopedic fields including treatment of complex nasal defects and spinal degeneration,” he said. “We look forward to taking advantage of our platform to address other high-impact, unmet medical needs such as reconstructing a lumpectomy and eventually expanding to organs.”
Professor Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the United States, who was not involved in the research, said the cartilage of the outer ear helped channel sound into the middle and inner ear that manages the sound treatment. , and is also important cosmetically.
Atala said it was not the first time tissue-engineered ears, made with the patient’s own cells, had been implanted in humans. An implant made from such cells cultured on a polymer scaffold has previously reported in China.
But Atala said: “This is a major step forward for regenerative medicine. 3D printing aims to provide a number of benefits over handmade engineered fabrics, including enlargement, higher design accuracy and reduced costs. “
Adam Perriman, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Bristol, whose work includes developing techniques for 3D cell printing, also welcomed the news. “Because the structure of the ear is cartilage and is vascular – [in other words it has] no blood vessels – it’s easier than bioprinting more complex tissues [or] organs, which is still a long way off, ”he said. “That said, it’s an exciting prospect, as there are still few examples of tissue-engineered products or procedures.”