3D printing: Ears and noses to be created using human cells (BBC)

Iqra Ali
April 29, 2022

Swansea University has invested £2.5 million into a study that uses human cells and plant-based materials to 3D-print ear and nose cartilage. If demonstrated to be successful, it could have useful applications in the future, treating people either born without body parts or those that have lost body parts due to accident or illness.

Food for Thought

3D printing in Medicine

From this article it is clear that 3D printing may be of great benefit in increasing resources for healthcare systems, helping to overcome the issue of lacking human donors and improving overall patient satisfaction.

Just one example of the use of 3D printing in medicine is provided, however, its applications are diverse. 3D printing may also be useful in the development of surgical instruments and other medical equipment, prosthetics, and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, one significant advantage of 3D printing is the ability to easily individualise treatment and cater to those who have very specific needs.

University Lead Research

Research is crucial for advancement in any field, including medicine. Institutes such as universities allow this research to take place due to the resources, funding and facilities they offer. It is important to use this research for the betterment of society. "You can't change what happens to people but through this research and development, you can change what their future can look like."- Simon Weston CBE

Patient Confidence

The lives of those who may benefit from this research are likely to have been significantly impacted by their circumstances: socially, economically, physically, and psychologically. They may suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence or are inability to complete daily activities. Research opens the possibilities of hope for these individuals and may greatly improve their quality of life.

Practice Interview QUestions
  1. If you had access to 3D printing technology and substantial funding, discuss an innovative way you would use it to benefit the healthcare system?
  2. Are you interested in research? If so, why do you want to be a doctor and not a scientist?
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