A man in South Africa was cured from his deafness by a 3D printer. Can you imagine? He had been in a car accident and it damaged the small bones in his right ear. While seeking help, he met Professor Mashudu Tshifularo of the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Professor Tshifularo had created a technique, using 3D printing, to replace the damaged bones. The man had the procedure done and it took the professor and his team only an hour and a half to complete the surgery. And it was a resounding success.
The procedure uses titanium to build the bones through the 3D printer. Titanium had been used for years because it is biocompatible with human tissue. And it allows our natural bones, to which the titanium is attached, to continue to work as they are intended.
The procedure works for people with conductive hearing loss. (Hearing loss caused by obstruction, damage or degeneration of the components making up the outer or middle ear) It doesn’t work so well yet for people suffering sensorineural hearing loss, which happens through nerve signals being prevented from getting to the brain. Or for those who suffer a mix of both. But the experts are working on that.
Anyone suffering conductive hearing loss is eligible for this procedure. Even babies. This is fabulous news for us. This means we are well on our way to curing hearing loss for everyone suffering deafness. Eventually no matter what the cause.
Professor Tshifularo wants to make this procedure affordable for everyone. But to do that, he needs funds made available so these 3D printers can create their work. You can give a donation, if you’d like to, to the university HERE
Can you imagine a world where no one is deaf? I can, now that we have these miracles at our fingertips. What a wonderful world that will be, huh?