According to a statement released by Chronicle Online, a group of bioengineers of Cornell University, USA and medical institution is producing body parts through 3D printers in the lab. According to the publication, the researchers used animal ears and tails as "ink" or raw material and the final result is virtually identical to a human ear. The first step of the process involves printing a mold in the shape of the human ear which takes about a day to get ready - that is then filled by a sort of gel, developed from collagen obtained from the tail of mice and cartilage derived from cow's ear.
-Dr. Jason Spector, Weill Cornell
After filling the mold with the gel which a process that takes about 30 minutes, it is important then to wait approximately 15 minutes to remove the ear can form. Then the ear is trimmed and placed on a cell culture for several days before they can be implanted.
The researchers hope that the technology can be used in the future to treat Microtia, a congenital disease that affects the ears - or to help patients who have lost or had their ears damaged due to illness or accident. And the experiments continue to give good results as so far, the first transplant can occur within three years.