Hannover Medical School implants first bioprinted ear implant with drug release benefits

Received by an adult patient and produced on the Desktop Health 3D-Bioplotter Manufacturer Series

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The ENT clinic at MHH is the first in the world to use the Desktop Health 3D-Bioplotter to customize an ear implant for a patient’s individual anatomy, print it with integrated pharmaceutical ingredients, and implant it.

“We have thus opened the door to a new type of pioneering patient care,” said ENT clinic director Prof. Prof. h.c. Thomas Lenarz, MD.

“Our entire team celebrates this important accomplishment by the Hannover Medical School ENT clinic, which has been years in the making,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. MHH purchased its 3D-Bioplotter in 2020 to develop this and other applications.

MHH implants first bioprinted ear implant with drug release benefits produced on the Desktop Health 3D-Bioplotter Manufacturer Series
The ENT clinic at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Germany has used its Desktop Health 3D-Bioplotter to produce a customized ear implant with drug release benefits for implantation in an adult patient. A growing number of parts bioprinted on the 3D-Bioplotter are being used in patients.

Fulop noted that bioprinting is entering a new phase. “The benefits of 3D bioprinting are just beginning to move into actual patients, and we celebrate this important shift in medicine that MHH and other medical innovators are driving forward,” Fulop said. “In recent months, we’ve seen the first products developed over many years on the 3D-Bioplotter moving into commercial and patient applications. We celebrate these important milestones, and what they mean for personalized patient care.”

Earlier this month, Chicago-based Dimension Inx announced that its CMFlex synthetic bone graft product has been surgically implanted in two cases. This product — the first 3D printed regenerative bone graft product cleared by the FDA — was developed and is manufactured on the 3D-Bioplotter Manufacturer Series.

The MHH patient who received the implant suffered from recurrent narrowing of the auditory canal, which had been treated surgically several times without showing the desired success. The new implant serves a stent function, but also delivers ingredients designed to accelerate healing.

“The first follow-up has already been very promising,” said PD Dr. Verena Scheper, whose team from the Otolaryngology Clinic’s Inner Ear Pharmacology Department designed the implant and manufactured it using the 3D-Bioplotter Manufacturing Series.

The MHH ENT Clinic is internationally renowned for the world’s largest cochlear implant program for the care of hearing-impaired patients. To date, the clinic has provided more than 11,111 affected persons with a cochlear implant. Other areas of focus include the provision of hearing aids and their further development, the early detection of childhood hearing loss, and the diagnosis and treatment of sensorineural hearing loss, including tinnitus. The treatment of patients is based on the close cooperation between the ENT clinic, the German Hearing Center Hannover (DHZ), acousticians, product manufacturers and scientists up to the development of new medical products.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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