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3D Technology Cures Deafness in South African Patient

on May 29 2019

In a revolutionary medical procedure, a team of South African doctors claim to have restored a patient’s deafness using 3D printed bone replacements.

The middle ear contains several tiny, fragile bones. In this case, the patient’s bones were permanently damaged in a car accident. Dr. Mashudu Tshifularo and his team used 3D technology to create replacements and print them in titanium.

Size of middle ear bones compared to a dime.

While this is the first middle ear transplant of its kind, Dr. Tshifularo is pushing to have this surgical method become standardized in hospitals.

You can expect a wave of 3D medical breakthroughs in the coming years. Just last month, a small, functioning heart was printed in a Tel-Aviv laboratory using human cells. Another team in the United States has been researching ways to print living human tissue. As researchers find ways to combine additive technology with human biology, 3D printers will become an indispensable tool for conducting organ transplants and other critical procedures.

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