Researchers at Princeton University have successfully created a 3D printed ear. Though the emergence of this phenomenon has become wonderfully commonplace in recent months, this instance is a bit different. This prototype, artificial ear is made by using a hyrdrogel infused with printed calf cells as a base and then rolls layers of silver nanoparticles to form a coiled antenna. The use of the calf cell base is important because it will eventually grow into the cartilage that surrounds the antenna which connects to a receiver that simulates the way the cochlea interprets sound. Yup, this bionic creation isn’t just for show. The ultimate goal of this cybernetic appendage will be it’s ability to attach itself to nerve endings, aiding ears with diminished hearing or even completely replacing our functioning, outdated ones. It doesn’t stop there though,  Michael McAlpine, an assistant engineering professor at Princeton hopes to make major advancements in this field, with sights on implementing this research towards integrating bionic organs as a whole. Read more about this technological leap forward here.

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Category: Technology