MHH inserts the world's first innovative implant into the ear canal

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Man receives customized 3D-printed implant that also delivers medication

For the first time, the ENT clinic The team at Hannover Medical School (MHH) provided an adult patient with a customized implant for the external auditory canal. The implant is manufactured using 3D printing and is also designed to continuously and locally release an active ingredient to accelerate healing. "We have thus opened the door to innovative and pioneering patient care," explains ENT Clinic Director Professor Dr. Thomas Lenarz. The MHH is the first clinic in the world to produce an implant adapted to the patient's individual anatomy using the Desktop Health 3D bioplotter and to functionalize it by adding active ingredients. 

The patient now fitted with the implant suffered from a recurring narrowing of the ear canal, which had been surgically treated several times without the desired success. The specially manufactured implant now enables both a stent function and drug delivery. "The first follow-up has already been very promising," reports PD Dr. Verena Scheper, whose team at the ENT Clinic's Pharmacology of the Inner Ear department designed the implant and manufactured it using the 3D bioplotter Manufacturer Series. 

Customized with the Desktop Health 3D bioplotter: the auditory canal implant. Copyright: Desktop Health.

This treatment is an individual treatment attempt, as the patient has not been treated with conventional options. Funding is provided by the motivated ENT clinic.

The ENT Clinic at the MHH is internationally renowned for the world's largest cochlear implant program for the care of patients with hearing loss. The first CI operation was performed here in 1984. The German Hearing Center Hannover was opened in 2003. To date, the clinic has provided more than 11,111 patients with cochlear implants. The clinic also specializes in the provision and further development of hearing aids, the early detection of childhood hearing loss and the diagnosis and treatment of sensorineural hearing loss, including tinnitus.

Text: Daniela Beyer

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