Friday, February 1, 2013


In With One Ear and Right Out With the Other

"The lab builds a scaffold of the needed body part with a porous nanocomposite material, developed and patented by the team, and then puts it in a bioreactor with some of the patient’s bone marrow. The patient’s cells cover the scaffold and fill its many holes so that it essentially becomes the patient’s own."
Here is a photo gallery of human ears, noses, and other essentials being created at University College London.

21 Comments / Post A Comment

fondue with cheddar

This sounds fascinating and I'm taking lunch soon. Should I not look at it while eating or is it safe?

raised amongst catalogs

@fondue with cheddar Well, what are you having?

fondue with cheddar

@raised amongst catalogs Lean Cuisine pepperoni pizza. (Same thing I have every day at work because of Reasons.)

raised amongst catalogs

@fondue with cheddar No, I guess I would not look at it while eating, then. I was hoping you'd be eating orecchiette pasta, for selfish, humor-based reasons.

fondue with cheddar

@raised amongst catalogs I'll understand your joke after lunch, then. Thanks. :)


That is so badass.



Lee Van Queef

I had a friend in college who, whenever cautioned against something that was bad for the longevity of a body part (like listening to music too loud), would retort that by the time we were old enough for his body to start failing, we'd already have the science to just replace the parts. I hate (not really though) that this makes him sound sorta right.


Yes, yes, yes, yes, Jesus Christ yes. I have a transplanted kidney (15 years in June!) and my goal is to keep it going until someone like these folks can grow me a new one in a vat. And then...an organ made from my own cells? I could stop taking immunosuppressants and steroids, I'd be at much less risk from cancer and glaucoma and slow healing and all the other things I have to get monitored for.
Yes. Fuck yes. Good scientists, if you need any cells, or research volunteers, or anything like that for any sort of reason, put out the call and I will be on a plane.


@area@twitter I will probably have a transplant someday (PCKD) and try to be involved in this place since they do pretty awesome research https://www.rogosin.org/treatment-areas/treatment-kidney-disease.php


@parallel-lines Ahh, look at all that great work! Thank you for the link. And I hope the day when you need to join the transplant club is far-off or never. GO KIDNEYS.


Back when I worked in surgery we created a new "ear" out of the patient's cartilage and the remnants of a shaved down cheek implant, and then put it under the person's leg with tissue expanders until it reached the right shape and size. We transplanted the "ear" to cover the burned tissue where the patient's ear had been. It wasn't perfect looking (this was the 90's, so I'm sure technology has gone a long way) and it would have been much better if we could have used the patient's tissue instead of some foreign materials (higher risk of rejection), but it one of the coolest things I've ever got to work on. Side note: do you know how fucking hard it is to carve all the parts of an ear?!?! This looks much nicer.

dj pomegranate

@parallel-lines That story made my day! Growing an ear on your leg! Amazing.


Ahh, that is so cool. Quick, quick, let's figure out how to do it with organs now!

Seriously, growing organs from patients' genetic material is one of the more attainable futuristic medical procedures that I can think of, and it would really revolutionize transplants.


Science is awesome.


This is amazing.

tea sonata

THIS IS SO COOL. Thank you, anonymous UCL Science-peeps!


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