Chinese scientists grow new ears for children with deformities
Researchers in China have grown ears for five patients who were born with ear deformities.
CHINA — Chinese researchers have successfully grown ears for five children with microtia, using a procedure that used the kids' own cells.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, microtia is a congenital deformity of the ear, the severity of which ranges from structural abnormalities to a complete absence of the external ear.
The typical treatment for microtia is reconstructive surgery, often through rib cartilage ear reconstruction, or silicone prosthetic ears.
CNN reports that according to a new study in China, scientists grew ears via a biodegradable scaffold that replicates the patient's normal ear. Cells from the microtia ear were seeded into the scaffold and cultured for three months.
The new ears were then implanted to reconstruct ears in five patients, and monitored for up to two and a half years.
While the idea itself is not novel, what's groundbreaking is that the scientists were able to carry out the procedure successfully in a series of patients, and had long-term results to boot.
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