One of the more notable factors affecting the field of medical 3D printing is the simple ‘cool’ factor in looking at how far we have come from treatments of times long past. A common ailment, requiring medical attention through the ages, has been a perforated eardrum, which can occur due to trauma, infection, or Q-Tips.
In 1640, for example, Marcus Banzer attempted to repair a perforated eardrum utilizing an ivory tube covered by pig’s bladder. While pig parts gave way eventually to more modern methods using autografts and homografts taken from, respectively, a patient’s own or a donor’s tissue, these repairs are still not exactly ideal for perforations that do not heal naturally.
From pig’s bladder to human tissue grafting techniques, scaffolding has long been shown to be an effective method to lessen the need for reconstructive surgical procedures (myringoplasty), encouraging the growth of the collagen fibers that form the tympanic membrane (TM, or eardrum), which separates the external and middle sections of the human ear.
A paper published today, May 7, in Biofabrication IOP Publishing, presents the latest in advanced research regarding eardrum reconstruction. The research team, hailing from Italy and the Netherlands, collaborated to produce the paper, titled “Multiscale fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds for tympanic membrane tissue engineering. … (read more)