Scientists developing vegan 3D-printed nose made of ‘artificial’ cartilage from pulped softwood

Scientists develop 3D-printed vegan nose made of ‘artificial’ cartilage from softwood pulp and face cream ingredient

  • Currently, surgeons remove the ribs of victims in search of cartilage to create the new nose.
  • The new noses will be made from softwood pulp and a face cream item.

British scientists are developing a ‘3D-printed vegan nose’, made from softwood pulp and a key face cream ingredient, for people who lose theirs to accidents or cancer.

For now, surgeons must remove cartilage from the victims’ ribs, which they use to create the superstructure for the patient’s new nose.

This can often involve multiple operations in which up to three lower ribs are removed.

Removing them can cause long-term health problems, while the cartilage obtained is not ideal, since it is less flexible and more brittle than the one that forms the nose.

As a result, experts at Swansea University have created ‘artificial’ cartilage that can be 3D printed to the exact shape required to fit the recipient’s face.

Scientists are developing a ‘3D-printed nose’, made from softwood pulp and an ingredient usually found in face cream.

It’s made of “nanocellulose hydrogel” and “hyaluronic acid,” said trainee surgeon Thomas Jovic, who devised the mix.

While these may sound scary, Dr. Jovic said that they were both naturally-derived products.

He explained: ‘Nanocellulose hydrogel is basically shredded softwood. And hyaluronic acid, which is found in many skin creams and facial fillers, is produced from bacteria. They are both vegan.

A biological catalyst is added to the mixture to “cure” it, in the same way as epoxy resin, after it is 3D printed.

Mr Jovic said: “This results in a material that is approximately 10 times more flexible than natural cartilage in the nose.”

However, that is not the final product. Cartilage cells are then taken from the patient’s own body, multiplied in a laboratory, and placed in a solution.

The artificial cartilage, which is in fact just a ‘scaffold’, is bathed in this cellular solution. Over time, these colonize the structure and harden it, before it is surgically implanted. The technique can also be used to rebuild damaged ears.

Dr Jovic and his colleague Professor Iain Whitaker, Professor of Plastic Surgery at Swansea University Medical School, have presented their work to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), who support them. . So are the Royal College of Surgeons and the Scar Free Foundation, a charity.

A biological catalyst is added to the mixture so that it

A biological catalyst is added to the mixture to “cure” it, in the same way as epoxy resin, after it is 3D printed.

Professor Whitaker said: ‘In general, if we want to rebuild cartilage in the face, we are faced with a long and complex operation that can be fraught with challenges.

‘The exciting part of this research is that we are taking 3D printing technology and combining it with tissue engineering to create biological tissue.

“This process increases customization and creates a permanent solution through a process that is much less complex than traditional procedures, reduces operating hours, and eliminates the need to manually carve the nose structure.

“This material can form a perfect, plant-derived and structurally robust replica.”

The next steps are to verify that the material does not cause an immune reaction and to begin animal testing.

Professor Whitaker said: “The clinical translation of this work will revolutionize plastic surgery.”