Professor Alex Selfalian and his team at the University College London have developed a method to create 3D printed implants to help children with ear deformities.
The scientists at UCL’s Lab use a 3D model captured with 3D scanning technology to print a replica of the ear, which is eventually implanted under the skin of the patient’s forearm. There the 3D printed ear implant made out of nano polymer, acts as a scaffold for human tissue. Within four to eight weeks blood vessels and skin grow in and around the print, so it can be removed and placed on the patient’s head by a surgeon.
This method has been successfully tested on lab rats so far and in the next couple of months the scientists at UCL hope to perform their first human transplant surgeries on children with ear deformities in India.