3D-printed ear implants help improve hearing for the deaf

Scientists in the United States say that 3D-printed, custom-designed prosthetic replacements for the damaged parts of the middle ear, are helping to improve surgical treatments for the deaf.

The technique helps to improve a surgical procedure that often fails because of incorrectly sized prosthetic implants.

The surgery involves designing a prosthesis for each patient in the operating room, and has high failure rates.One reason is because of the incorrect sizing of the prostheses.

3D technology has been used to solve a number of other medical prosthesis problems, including in the areas of joint replacement and facial reconstruction surgery.

The researchers used an inexpensive 3D printer to create prostheses that hardens when exposed to ultraviolet laser light.

Four surgeons inserted the prosthesis into each middle ear. The technique increases the chances of a proper fit and reduces surgical time.

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