Written By Molly Brown Via Geekwire.com
It’s considered one of the most difficult parts of the reconstruction process — carving cartilage to make a new ear for children.
Now, University of Washington researchers have created a much easier solution using 3D printing.
Previously, surgical residents practiced carving ear cartilage on a “bar of soap, carrot or apple,” according to this UW release — beta methods that were not incredibly accurate.
In the procedure, rib cartilage is taken from the child, which is then “carved” to help form the reconstructed ear — something that surgeons really have to nail to get right.
In the UW study, silicone models were printed from a mold off a CT scan, in which three experienced surgeons practiced carving and working with the material. All three preferred the 3D-printed method and recommended it as the training tool for medical students.