|3D outer ear|
And now, researchers at Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University have taken 3D printing further with the development of a prototype 3D outer ear which was printed from a range of materials: a hydrogel to form an ear-shaped scaffold, cells that will grow to form cartilage, and silver nanoparticles to form an antenna.
So far, 3D technology has been used to produce artificial hearts, brains, blood vessels, livers, skulls and faces.
The synthesized tissues have been used in different roles. For example, scientists now use biosynthetic liver tissue to experiment with drugs which expedites the discovery of new drugs. In another case, a surgeon used a replica of a patient's brain tissue to practise before going into surgery cutting surgical time and reducing errors.
Hopefully, this technology won't be too expensive so a lot of people who have lost vital body tissues to disease or accidents can access it.