Washington (AFP) – A US medical team said Thursday (Friday in Manila) that they have reconstructed a human ear using a patient’s own tissue to make a 3-D biological implant, a pioneering procedure they hope can be used to treat people with a rare birth defect. .
The surgery was performed as part of an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the implant for people with microauricles, in which the outer ear is small and not properly formed.
AuriNovo, as the implant is called, was developed by 3DBio Therapeutics while the surgery was led by Arturo Bonilla, founder and director of the Microtia-Congenital Ear Deformity Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
“As a clinician who has treated thousands of children with pinna-area from across the country and around the world, I am inspired by what this technology may mean for Microtia patients and their families,” Bonilla said in a statement.
He said he hopes the implant will one day replace the current treatment of the ear pinna, which involves either grafting cartilage from the patient’s ribs or using a synthetic material, porous polyethylene (PPE), to rebuild the outer ears.
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The procedure involves a 3D scan of the patient’s opposite ear to create a chart, then collecting a sample of ear cartilage cells and growing them to a sufficient amount.
bio collagen toner
These cells are mixed with collagen-based bio-ink, which forms in an outer ear. The implant is surrounded by a biodegradable printed shell to provide early support, but is absorbed into the patient’s body over time.
The transplanted ear is supposed to mature over time, developing the normal look and feel, including elasticity, of a normal ear.
The clinical trial is expected to include 11 patients and will take place in California and Texas.
“The AuriNovo implant requires a less invasive procedure than using rib cartilage for reconstruction,” Bonilla said. “We also expect it to result in a more flexible ear than PPE implant reconstruction.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pinna otitis occurs in 1 in every 2,000–10,000 children. Factors that can increase the risk include mothers with diabetes and a mother’s diet that is lower in carbohydrates and folic acid.
Boys are more likely to be affected than girls, with Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans affected more than non-Hispanic whites.
In the absence of other conditions, children with small ears can develop normally and lead healthy lives – although they may have self-esteem issues and suffer from teasing and bullying about their appearance.
Looking to the future, 3DBio wants to develop implants with more severe forms of microauricle.