Over the past few years, 3D printing technology has evolved by many folds as researchers and organizations continue to experiment with it at an unprecedented rate. At this point, we’ve seen 3D printing technology being used to print out full-fledged bridges, buildings, and even a functional human heart! Now, for the first time in the medical field, a 20-year-old girl has become the first person to get a functional 3D-printed ear that is made of her living cells. Read the details below!
20-Year-Old Gets a Functional 3D Printed Ear Made From Her Own Tissue
According to a recent report by the New York Times, 20-year-old Alexa from Mexico was the first individual to undergo a successful ear transplant with 3D printed technology. The first-of-its-kind clinical trial was orchestrated by a regenerative medicine company called 3DBio Therapeutics to treat the girl, who was born with a tiny, misshaped right ear.
As per the report, 3DBio Therapeutics used a “groundbreaking” investigational product called AuriNovo to create the 3D bio-printed living tissue ear implant for the patient. AuriNovo is reportedly a combination product that can reconstruct the outer ear of patients suffering from microtia, a rare congenital condition in which children are born with deformed ears or no ears at all.
The company took the help of Dr. Arturo Bonilla, who is an ear reconstructive surgeon and the founder of the Microtia-Congenital Ear Deformity Institute in San Antonio, Texas, to construct the 3D bio-printed ear. Dr. Bonilla touted the technology as a revolutionary treatment for microtia patients around the world.
“As a physician who has treated thousands of children with microtia from across the country and around the world, I am inspired by what this technology may mean for microtia patients and their families. This study will allow us to investigate the safety and aesthetic properties of this new procedure for ear reconstruction using the patient’s own cartilage cells,” Dr. Bonilla said in a statement.
Additionally, Dr. Daniel Cohen, the CEO of 3DBio Therapeutics, described the successful ear implant using 3D printed technology as “a truly historic moment.” Furthermore, Dr. Cohen mentioned that he hopes that the successful clinical trial of the procedure could expand to other sectors of the medical field.
Going forward, the 3DBio Therapeutics and the involved doctors will conduct another trial of the technology before seeking FDA approval. However, it is worth noting that AuriNovo has already been reportedly granted orphan drug and rare pediatric disease designation. This means that AuriNovo is expected to receive a priority review when it gets ready for approval.
So, what do you think about the fact that 3D printing technology can be used for the regenerative treatment of diseases? Do you think we could eventually get cyborg-like 3D printed arms and legs in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.