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Surgeons carve new ears using 3D printings

Surgeons carve new ears using 3D printings
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Resea rchers from the University of Washington (UW) have evolved a method to help trainee surgeons carve new ears from a paediatric rib cartilage like ...

Washington: Resea rchers from the University of Washington (UW) have evolved a method to help trainee surgeons carve new ears from a paediatric rib cartilage like material by using 3D-printed moulds.

To treat children with a missing or under-developed ear, experienced surgeons harvest pieces of rib cartilage from the child and carve them into the framework of a new ear.

They take only as much of that precious cartilage as they need. That leaves medical residents without an authentic material to practice on. Some use pig or adult cadaver ribs, but children's ribs are of a different size and consistency.

The innovation could open the door for aspiring surgeons to become proficient in the sought-after but challenging procedure called auricular reconstruction.

They compared their firmness, feel and suturing quality to real rib cartilage, as well as a more expensive material made out of dental impression material.

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