Bioengineered eardrums: half the work done
Doctors have created an artificial analogue of the eardrum
An international team of physicians has created a special polymer material that can be used to grow an adequate and complete replacement for eardrums damaged as a result of injuries or diseases, according to an article published in the journal Biofabrication (Mota et al., Multiscale fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds for tympanic membrane tissue engineering – VM).
"Since the eardrum is a unique tissue for the human body, problems with it are usually solved by transplanting other tissues that do not have a similar structure. For this reason, their acoustic properties usually leave much to be desired," said Serena Danti from the University of Pisa (in a press release from IOP Publishing Researchers sound out scaffolds for eardrum replacement – VM).
Danti and her colleagues were able to solve this problem by creating a special polymer structure that can be used to grow full-fledged eardrums from cultures of "adult" stem cells found in human and animal connective tissue.
This structure, manufactured by means of electric spinning of polymer fibers or in combination with 3D printing with these threads, is a special framework that helps stem cells grow in the right direction and take the right shape compatible with the anatomical device of the patient's ear.
As the first experiments with the cultivation of artificial membranes from human connective tissue showed, both "forms" coped with their task, allowing the cells to take the desired position and shape. The best acoustic properties, according to scientists, were obtained by using a 3D printer to prepare a template for the future eardrum.
In the near future, Danti and her colleagues will try to bring the acoustic properties of these artificial membranes to the maximum, after which they will implant them in the ear of laboratory animals. The successful completion of these experiments will pave the way for the creation of a full-fledged replacement for damaged eardrums from human stem cells.
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru12.05.2015