3D-printed noses for crash victims




dmg media (UK)


The Party’s Over

A ‘3D-PRINTED nose’ – made up of pulped softwood and an ingredient usually found in face cream – is being developed by scientists for those who lose their own to accidents or cancer. Currently surgeons mine victims’ ribs for cartilage, which they use to create the superstructure of the patient’s new nose. This often involves multiple operations, the removal of three lower ribs and potential longterm health problems. The cartilage obtained is also not ideal, as it is less flexible than that which makes up the nose. But experts at Swansea University have created ‘artificial’ cartilage that can be 3D printed in the exact shape required to suit the recipient’s face. The creator, Mr Thomas Jovic, a trainee surgeon, said: It is made up of nanocellulose hydrogel – basically pulped softwood – and hyaluronic acid which is found in lots of skin creams. Both are vegan. ‘This results in a material that’s about ten times more flexible than natural nose cartilage.’ Mr Jovic and colleague Professor Iain Whitaker, chairman of plastic surgery at Swansea University Medical School, presented their work to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, which is supporting them. Prof Whitaker said: ‘This material can form a perfect replica which is plant-derived and robust.’