Researchers create world’s first 3D-printed bionic organ

Using 3D printers to create biological structures has become widespread. Printing electronics has made similar advances, particularly for low-cost, low-power disposable items. The first successful combination of these two technolgies has recently been reported by a group of researchers at Princeton. They described their methods in a recent issue of ACS NANO Letters. They claim that their new device can receive a wide range of frequencies using a coiled antenna printed with silver nanoparticles. Interfacing their device to actual nerve is the next obvious step, begging the question — can it actually hear?

The Princeton researchers previously developed a tattoo composed of a sensor and an antenna that could be fixed to the surface of a tooth. It was made from a combination of silk, gold, and graphene, and had the ability to detect small amounts of bacteria. Building on their knowledge, that team joined up with researchers at Johns Hopkins to build the electronic ear. Their 3D printer combined calf cells with a hydrogel matrix material to form the ear cartilage, and silver to form the embedded antenna coil.

3D-earIn testing, they were able to pick up radiowaves in stereo using complimentary left and right side ears. Later on they hope to be able to detect acoustic energy directly using other built-in sensors. There are many ways this might be accomplished, the trick is to find a pressure-sensitive material that can be easily printed. Other researchers have used 3D printing of a material called carbomorph to create piezoresistive sensors that change resistance when bent or stressed. These researchers have also been able to print capacitive button sensors to measure changes in capacitance, and even connectors for hooking things together.

Printing biological structures that will be stable over time is a tricky business. The first stable 3D-printed ear was achieved not too long ago by researchers at Cornell using a very similar method. Since then, advances in bioprinting have progressed to ever smaller scales, culminating recently with a technique called 3D microdroplet printing. Using synthetic cell microdroplets, researchers could lay down geometrically precise tissues composed of human stem cells. These droplets could then undergo secondary developmental changes to their structure.

The bionic ear is a long way from something that might be used in humans, if that is even the intent of the authors. Successful printing of organs and tissues larger than just a cartilaginous ear will require supporting elements for bloodflow and nervous enervation. A test device for printed tissues and organs that might include these essential primitives will undoubtedly be needed soon. It may eventually come to resemble some kind of living proto-humanoid machine — and would probably be a little creepy-looking. However, asking lab animals to shoulder our test burden, may hopefully soon no longer be necessary.
[divider]
By John Hewitt | Extremetech

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Government-Funded ‘Am I Stoned?’ Marijuana App Tells You: You’re Stoned

If you’ve ever wondered how stoned you are, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone: Government officials are wondering the same thing. With...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

Living materials created by MIT, mimicking natural systems

Living materials created by MIT scientists can sense and respond to surrounding Living materials, created by MIT researchers are able to sense stimuli and react...

NASA’s Curiosity finds liquid water below Mars’ surface

New measurements from the Gale crater contradict theories that the planet is too cold for liquid water to exist, but Mars still considered hostile...

Can LSD Make Dying Easier?

When you think about LSD you probably picture the 60s and a bus full of hippies, Grateful Dead playing softly, revolutions being planned telepathically....

What if The Current Industrial Civilization on Earth Isn’t The First One?

As a species, we humans tend to take it for granted that we are the only ones that live in sedentary communities, use tools,...

FBI Had 12-Page File On George Carlin Because He Made Jokes About Government

Comedian George Carlin is known as one of the most controversial and outspoken entertainers of his time, and as far as the government is...

78 Year Old Vegan Bodybuilder Might Make You Reconsider Your Diet

Will this 78-year-old vegan bodybuilder make you reconsider your diet? Jim Morris was a competitive bodybuilder for 30 years. At 50 he was a vegetarian,...

Pharmaceutical Giants Caught Supplying Cartels With Tons of Bulk Ingredients to Produce Meth

The companies are accused of providing the Mexican drug kingpin Ezio Figueroa Vazquez with several tons of ephedrine, knowing that it would be used...