3D Printing Industry reports that the University of Wollongong (UOW) ARC Centre of Excellence for Electro materials Science (ACES) in Australia has developed a customizable, advanced next generation 3D bioprinter—3D Alek-to combat congenital ear deformity. Designed to treat microtia, the technology has been installed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) in Sydney.
Payal Mukherjee, Clinical Associate Professor at the RPA Institute of Academic Surgery was quoted in the 3D Printing Industry news “treatment of this particular ear deformity is demanding because the outer ear is an extremely complex 3D shape, not only in length and breadth but also in height and projection from the skull.”
Microtia, a genetic condition can lead to hearing loss in children. Approximately 1 in 6,000 are affected according to Australian charity FutureHear.
3D Alek was developed by UOW, ACES and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) to make structures using stem cells-containing bioinks, that would aid in the cartilage regeneration.
Royal Prince Alfred will now utilize 3D Alek for clinical trials in microtia. And the Australian research consortium will continue to advance the foundational technology at TRICPE, their new 3D bioprinting initiative.