If one daily dose of 3D printing was not enough for you, scientist at Cornell University have successfully printed lifelike human ears that can be used to treat birth defects such as microtia. Other possible uses are for accident victims or those who lost an ear to cancer.
The "product" that is almost perfectly identical to a human ear, was printed using gel made from living cells, a type of collagen that is gathered from rat tails as well as cartilage cells taken from cow ears. The whole process is rather quick too in terms of forming a living organ.
Associate professor Lawrence Bonassar said:
"It takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel, and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later. We trim the ear and then let it culture for several days in nourishing cell culture media before it is implanted."
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