Scientists Grow 3D Artificial Ears

It’s one small step for ears, one huge leap for hearing. Scientists have combined 3-D printing and human cells to create prosthetic ears that are expected to grow cartilage once they are implanted, researchers from Cornell University said Thursday. The prosthetic ears are almost indistinguishable from natural ones, and researchers said they can be a great help to children born with ear deformities or people who have lost their ears to accidents or disease. Current replacement ears are constructed with materials that have an unnatural Styrofoam-like consistency. The study’s author, Lawrence Bonassar, says the successful experiment is a powerful breakthrough. “This is such a win-win for both medicine and basic science, demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together.”