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Human-like ears 3D printed inside mice as surgery-free spare parts

Human-like ears 3D printed inside mice as surgery-free spare parts

Written by David

June 6, 2020

Replacement ears could be 3D printed beneath the skin SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES Human-like ears have been grown on the backs of mice using 3D printing. The technique could potentially be used to construct new ears or other body parts in people without the need for surgery. 3D printing is increasingly being used to custom-build new body parts, like jaws , ribs and spinal vertebrae. But these parts must be printed outside the body and then surgically implanted, which carries an infection risk. Now, Maling Gou at Sichuan University, China and his colleagues have shown that body parts can be 3D printed inside the body, at least in mice, so that surgery is not required. First, the researchers injected a “bio-ink” made of hydrogel particles and cartilage cells into the backs of mice. Next, they shone ear-shaped patterns of near-infrared light onto the ink. The light caused the […]

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