Scientists at Princeton University “printed” a functional ear that can process radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human hearing. The scientists used off-the-shelf components to print a 3D structure consisting of layers of hydrogel, calf cells, and silver nano particles—creating an embedded coil antenna in a cartilage structure. Two wire leads travel from the base of the ear and wind around a helical cochlea structure. The electrodes would interface with the auditory nervous system. The ear is only a prototype, but in principle it could be used not only to restore acoustical hearing, but also enhance it by processing radio waves which are outside the frequency range of the human ear.
Want a bionic ear? Give it a few years, and all you’ll need to do is hit “print.”
Source: Science Daily
Photo Credit: Frank Wojciechowski