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Girl to be fitted with 3D printed ear in Australia – euronews

by • May 4, 2016 • No Comments

Two-year old Maia was born with just one ear due to a congenital deformity called microtia, and already wears a headband which transmits sound to her brain via her skull as a bone conductor.
But new 3D innovation being created at Queensland University of Technology in Australia means Maia may soon obtain a prosthetic ear which may cost less than a pair of glasses.
“She’s full of confidence. She’s full of love and life and I don’t want to take which away of her. It is obviously going to be heartbreaking but the fact we can in fact say no it’s okay, you can have an ear,” says Maia’s mother Chloe.
This promising innovation is far less expensive than common prosthetic solutions. The whole procedure may cost as little as two hundred dollars per child. If successful, its inventors hope to some day use it to print other body parts.
“Nobody’s at any time 3D printed ear prosthetics preceding. I ponder the competence to 3D print an ear prosthetic can cost the public less than a pair of glasses,” says Mia Woodruff, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology.
The project comes in two stages. The initially is a short-term ‘cosmetic’ solution: a 3D prosthetic ear is created in medical silicone and attached magnetically or with surgical glue.
The long-term stage is far additional ambitious and revolves around a difficult bioengineering solution. The goal is to create a procedure for expanding a 3D ear of the patient’s own cells via a special bioreactor. After a few weeks of expanding, it may and so be surgically implanted along with a custom bionic construction.
Researchers believe which the 3D printed ears may be on the market inside two years.
But the project is yet in its infancy, Maia’s parents are hoping it may deeply alter their daughter’s life.

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