Eardrum perforations are a widespread problem affecting millions worldwide. Current standard of care is invasive, involves harvesting an autologous tissue to patch the eardrum, and often requires to revision surgeries, while hearing outcomes remain unsatisfying. What if we could program the eardrum to repair itself after injury? Researchers at the Wyss Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Harvard SEAS have designed a novel easy-to-use device, using biomimetic and biodegradable materials and 3D printing techniques, which functions as a temporary patch that allows native eardrum tissue to grow over it to provide long-lasting tympanic membrane reconstruction.
Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University