A young female patient became the first patient to receive a 3D printed ear implant made from her own cell, a scientific development that gives hope to millions of patients waiting for such a revolution in the field of medicine.
“This is so exciting, sometimes I have to temper myself a little bit,” says Dr. Arturo Bonilla, who performed the surgery in Texas, the United States. “If everything goes as planned, this will revolutionize the way this is done.”
The implant was produced by the regenerative medicine company 3DBio Therapeutics. Suffering from microtia, a rare birth defect that leaves the ear small and misshapen, the 20-year-old woman is one of the 11 volunteers who are taking part in the first clinical trial to use 3D printing to reconstruct an implant made of living tissue. Indeed, a tiny clump of cells was taken from the patient’s right ear, thus reducing the chance of rejection from the body. With more research, it will be possible to replace spinal discs, noses, and knee menisci.