In a world-first, doctors have successfully transplanted a 3D-printed ear, made from living tissue cells, onto a woman born with a rare deformity.
The patient was born with microtia, a birth defect resulting in the ear’s external portion not forming correctly. It can also affect hearing.
According to a statement from 3DBio Therapeutics, the success occurred during the first clinical trial of the technology, which uses the AuriNovo implant.
“AuriNovo is a patient-specific, living tissue implant created using 3D-bioprinting technology for surgical reconstruction of the outer ear in people born with microtia Grades II-IV,” the company said.
AuriNovo was designed as an alternative to rib cartilage grafts, and to replace the synthetic materials commonly used for microtia patients.
Arturo Bonilla, leader of the clinical trial team, is pleased with the success of the transplant.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Daniel Cohen, CEO and Co-founder of 3DBio Therapeutics, explained that the technology applies to both the reconstructive and orthopaedic fields but added that the company wants to expand its applications.
“Our initial indications focus on cartilage in the reconstructive and orthopaedic fields, including treating complex nasal defects and spinal degeneration,” Cohen said
“We look forward to leveraging our platform to solve other high impact, unmet medical needs like lumpectomy reconstruction and eventually expand to organs.”