Chinese researchers say they’ve grown human cells into new ears for five children.
How it works: A scaffold, created from a mirrored, 3-D-printed replica of a patient’s healthy ear, is seeded with cartilage-creating cells taken from the person’s body. First grown in a dish, the replacement ear is then implanted beneath pre-stretched skin on the side of the patient’s head.
The results: See for yourself in the images above, from one month post-op in the top left to 30 months post-op in the bottom right. New Scientist reports that the shape, size, and angle of the ears is convincing.
But: The ears don’t really look great, and it’s unclear how they’ll change over a patient’s life. Some researchers have questioned the safety of some aspects of the procedure.
Why it matters: Using tissue engineering to grow complex shapes like this is difficult. The approach may inspire new ways to grow other complex body parts, too.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?
There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.
The quest to show that biological sex matters in the immune system
A handful of immunologists are pushing the field to take attributes such as sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and reproductive tissues into account.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.