Replacing a Human Ear
The current solution for replacing a human ear is to surgically implant an ear-shaped device under the skin. But, because the device is a foreign material, there can be problems with infection and protrusion from the skin, which can require additional surgery.
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and partners are working toward a better solution. They are working to cover traditional surgical implants, as well as porous molds developed in the laboratory, with a patient's own cartilage cells before implantation. Once in the body, "nature's incubator," cartilage tissues would form. As part of this feasibility research, WFIRM scientists will be assessing the biocompatibility and long-term durability of the implant for use in patient populations.
Watch this process in action in the video below: