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Using a titanium scaffold, it will be possible to develop a method to create a more lifelike, flexible artificial ear.
Previous artificial ear technologies required doctors to create the ear shape from a lump of cartilage. In contrast, the new technique will involve using a 3D computer model to build a basic ear shape out of titanium mesh. The mesh will be used to hold together the collagen connective tissue from a cow and then will seed with cartilage cells from a sheep, which will grow to form a coating over the scaffolding. The ear will be able to thrive when connected to a blood supply, and the 3D nature of the technology will mean that patients should be able to receive an ear that matches their own shape.