Cartilage we can already bioprint with discrete success, as the many images of bioprinted ears circulating around the web clearly seem to demonstrate. But how can we make those ears actually function? For that, we need much more advanced biofabrication processes. What scientists need to do is to find a way to accurately and efficiently 3D print the scaffolds that enable the creation of “end-use”, implantable, complex cartilage implants.
When thinking about cartilaginous parts in our body, very few present more challenges in terms of shape and functionality as the timpanic membrane (aka the eardrum). That is exactly where Lorenzo Moroni and the team from the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Renegarative Medicine at Maastricht University began, in a study titled “Multiscale fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds for tympanic membrane tissue engineering“.Read more