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Scientists create 3D-printed bionic ear that can "hear" radio waves

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posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:38 PM

A Princeton University team has successfully merged electronics and biology to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies. The tissue and antenna were merged via the use of an “off-the -shelf” 3D printer, and the results have the potential to not only restore but actually enhance human hearing in the future.

I found this article through Facebook and I thought it would be good to share. As I read the article a smile started to shine of my face and my eyes open wide with awesomeness at the information about this bionic ear. It shouldn't be surprise that I'm a person who is very optimistic about science and technology. This bionic ear is another achievement in science.

The Princeton team is developing the process by using a technique whereby the electronics and biology are built and grown together in an interwoven format. This creates a form of cybernetic implant that has the potential to actually improve human hearing in the future.

The ear itself consists of a coiled antenna within a cartilage structure, with two wires leading from the base and winding around the helical “cochlea” – the area of the ear that senses sound. The signal registered by the antenna could be connected to a patient's nerve endings in a similar way to a hearing aid, restoring and improving their ability to hear.

The 3D printing technique uses computer-aided design to create the organ from thin layers of material. The stock 3D printer then combines the matrix of hydrogel and calf cells with the silver nano particles that form the antenna. At present, the antenna is only able to detect radio waves, and requires a great deal of further testing before it can be trialled on human patients. The team hopes to refine the technology in the future, allowing the ear to register conventional acoustic sounds.

Video of a 3D printer printing the ear.

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posted on May, 7 2013 @ 01:22 PM
so basically and am/fm built in earphone.

I can do that right not very easily. Grab 2 discrete wireless earphones with a hand held controller, and change stations whenever I want.

If this thing allows all radio waves to be heard, that person would end up going crazy after a while because alot of it is pink and white noise that changes depending on above head power lines, near wifi, near cellphones. You'd be a wacko within a couple weeks without some kind of built in filter

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