7095 – Ear Implant for Reconstruction

The tissue engineered ear implant grows with the child. The scaffold design supports tissue ingrowth and a soft tissue covering and requires no cartilage. The 3D printed implant can be personalized to match the shape of the patient’s healthy ear. Malformed ears are exceptionally difficult to reconstruct due to their complex geometry, yet they are important to treat early because they can cause improper hearing and may lead to psychosocial harm and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, current treatment approaches are lacking. One approach involves using rib cartilage of the patient to reconstruct the ear, which requires a large amount of cartilage that can only be acquired from a patient at least 8 years in age. This process can be painful and often takes more than one surgery to complete. The other approach involves a polymeric implant; however, this implant is a one-size-fits-all solution, which may not work for children whose ears are still growing. To address some of the shortcomings of current approaches, researchers have developed a 3D printed scaffold-based approach. This approach utilizes a porous implant designed to support both tissue ingrowth and a soft tissue covering. The resulting ear implant is designed to grow with the child. Advantageously, the reconstruction does not involve patient cartilage, so the procedure can be performed on young children. In some aspects, personalized implants are designed using images obtained from the intact ear of a patient, allowing for precise and controlled design of a patient-specific ear. In various aspects, the implant includes a first component defining an outer ear framework and a second component defining a base. The base seats securely within the first component. Michelle Larkin MICHCOTE@umich.edu 810-569-2583

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