Cornell University Scientists Use 3D printer To Print Human Ear… Kinda

It’s really not as cool as it sounds… but it could be in the future…

Looks like scientists in the Computational Synthesis Laboratory at Cornell got a hold of a MakerBot (or a clone of one) and fitted it with a syringe of what appears to be white silicone caulking. Demonstrating it at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D. C., the scientists are using this rig as a proof-of-principal concept for a way to crank out synthetic body parts like ears and heart valves.

In this concept, the silicone caulk is a stand-in for the biological material that they, one day, hope use as DNA-injected ‘ink.’ The spare parts would be based on the patient’s own hi-res full-body scan that was “banked” years earlier, prior to their misfortune. Just extract the 3D model of the missing part and print a new one. Right now it looks like you’d have a cross-hatch pattern on your new ear from where the extruded material was laid down… But it’s still and interesting idea.

There’s a video after the jump.

[via engadget]


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