A 3D printed implant can encourage the damaged cells to grow naturally which can recover the damage.
Piercing or pricking can lead to permanent deformations leading to disability in listening. Harvard scientists developed a PhonoGraft to overcome this damage and now it is introduced in the market as a commercial product. The basic function of an eardrum is to convert sound waves into electric signals which our brain can interpret. Perforations harm the thin membrane of the eardrum and thus it can’t function properly if it is injured by loud noise or earbuds. This is worsened when external microorganisms like viruses and bacteria enter causing serious infections.
Presently the only solution for this problem is a treatment named tympanoplasty. It includes repairing the ear hole using the patient’s tissue itself which is used to make a graft. But this treatment has the risk of failing with no proper sound audibility guarantee to the patient. It also results in an unhealthy eardrum. PhonoGraft can overcome all these problems.
The thin model of mimic resembles a natural eardrum, it has a pattern like a bike wheel spokes. It is made with 3d printing technology with the help of synthetic polymer-based ink. The dual benefit of this is that it not only helps to restore the hearing but also helps to regenerate the damaged cells of the recipient.
A project researcher Aaron Remenschneider shared a surprising result of an experiment on chinchilla which was promising. As chinchilla has same ear mechanism and range of hearing showed positive impact after 3 months of PhonoGraft installation. The hearing test showed restoration of complete sound ability. The further study of the ear canal showed a completely new generation of new tissues which had a wonderfully reconstructed eardrum with its original shape and circular pattern. The process can be made less risky by inserting the Phonograft through the ear canal. To introduce this amazing device to market Harvard’s Institute has approached a start-up named Beacon Bio.