From Tom Myers: I had to check this one out – how could they put living cells though a jet into a printed object? That would have been a very significant development. Upon further investigation (see the second link), it turns out they 3D-printed the matrix for the cartilage cells – which they added later – to build around. It’s great that they are getting printed items – which obviously includes the essential gels and fibrous networks of connective tissue – as scaffolding, like the decelluarised heart pictured here. This was done by shampooing the cells off a real heart, whereas this new ear is a printed matrix / cell interaction. This is not different in kind from the femoral prostheses that include a metal mesh into which the bone grows, forming a very strong and resilient hold. But this much more sophisticated application holds promise for those with facial injuries or deformities, like a cleft palate. If they can ‘grow’ cartilage, would it have application to rib cage injuries and deformities like pectus excavatom as well?
To read the original articles, click below: