This operation was performed as part of a clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of such an implant for people with microtia, whose outer ear has not developed properly. AuriNovo, the name of the implant, was developed by the company 3DBio Therapeutics, and the operation carried out by Arturo Bonilla, founder of an institute specializing in the treatment of this malformation, in San Antonio, Texas.
“As a doctor who has treated thousands of children with microtia across the country and around the world, I am excited about this technology and what it could mean for patients and their families,” the surgeon said. in a company statement.
The procedure is performed by creating a 3D impression of the patient’s fully developed other ear and then harvesting cartilage cells from their ear. These are then cultured to obtain a sufficient quantity, then they are mixed with a collagen hydrogel. It is this mixture that is used to print the implant.
The clinical trial must include a total of 11 patients, in California and Texas.
Dr. Bonilla said he hopes the implant can one day replace existing treatments, which involve creating a prosthesis from the removal of cartilage from a rib, or a substance called porous polyethylene.
The first solution is a cumbersome procedure, and the implant using the porous polyethylene is less flexible than the one tested today, he explained.