Saffron's Space

Who would have thought becoming a cyborg was so close to reality? We all know that 3D printing is cool but this week in When Science Fiction Becomes Reality, I want to show you something epic.

EarThis particular research team wanted to integrate electronic functionality with biological materials to make a bionic/cyborg ear capable of detecting radio frequencies. For copyright reasons I can’t paste the image below but I implore you to check it out:

The scientists used a 3D printer with three different ‘ink’ cartridges to build the structural, biological and electrical components of this ear.

While this particular ear wasn’t designed to last very long or be attached to an actual human it’s an incredible proof of concept. It’s a massive advance to medical and cosmetic research and could provide incredible benefits.

Imagine if you lost your ear while fighting an alien horde? No problem we’ll just print you off a new one!

Of course it doesn’t just stop at ears; this kind of layered approach could be applied to a myriad of organs.

 

If you could print anything from a 3D printer, what would it be?

How do you see this technology advancing in the future?

http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl4007744



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