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Bioengineered wins first place at World Technology Summit

A method for bioengineering living human ears won a first-place award at the World Technology Summit in New York City, Nov. 15, according to a Cornell University article.

Lawrence Bonassar, a BMES member and an associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Jason Spector, associate professor of surgery and otolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College, were honored in the Health and Medicine category of the awards, according to the Cornell article. Their category recognizes innovative work “of the greatest likely long-term significance” for the 21st century.

The winners were announced at the World Technology Awards. Winners become members of the World Technology Network (WTN) – a roster of organizations and individuals from more than 40 countries, according to the article.

Bonassar and Spector’s artificial ears employ 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells. These gels can be used to fashion ears nearly identical to a human ear. The replacement ears could be a novel solution for reconstructive surgeons to help children born with the absence or severe deformity of the ear. The ears could also help people who have lost part or all of their external ear to an accident or cancer, according to the Cornell article.

The method of bioengineering ears is detailed in a study published earlier this year in the journal PLoS One.

More information and list of award finalists: