Researchers make ’bionic ear’ with 3-D printer
By Kathy Matheson | AssociatedPress
With a 3-D printer, a petri dish and some cells from a cow, U.S. researchers are growing synthetic ears that can receive — and transmit — sound.
The Princeton University scientists send bovine cells mixed in a liquid gel through the printer, followed by tiny particles of silver. The printer is programmed to shape the material into a "bionic ear" and forms the silver particles into a coiled antenna. Like any antenna, this one can pick up radio signals that the ear will interpret as sound.
The 3-D ear is not designed to replace a human one. The research is meant to explore a new method of combining electronics with biological material.
"What we really did here was actually more of a proof of concept of the capabilities of 3-D printing," said Michael McAlpine, the professor who led the project. "Because most people use 3-D printing to print passive objects — things like figurines and jewelry."
After it’s printed, the 3-D ear is soft and translucent. It is cultivated for 10 weeks, letting the cells multiply, creating a flesh color and forming hardened tissue around the antenna.
McAlpine and his team demonstrated the antenna’s ability to pick up radio signals by attaching electrodes onto the backs of the ears in the printing process. When they broadcast a recording of Beethoven’s "Fur Elise" to a pair of fully cultivated ears, the electrodes passed the signal along wires to a set of speakers, and the music flowed out clear and without interference.
Although the new research is just one iteration in the field of cybernetics — an area that looks at combining biology with technology — McAlpine said the research could lead to synthetic replacements for actual human functions, and to a sort of electronic sixth sense.
Read the full article at: newsdaily.com
Amped: A Sci-Fi Novel Asks Whether "Transhumans" Would Still Be Human
Transhumansm; Merging With Technology
Bionic Hand helps man born without fingers
UK Roboticists Build Rex, the Bionic Man
Man Climbs 103 Floors on a Brain-Powered Bionic Leg
World’s first bionic eye gifts blind woman eyesight
Paralyzed woman finishes marathon in bionic suit
Latest News from our Front Page
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately â€“ prosecutor
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldnâ€™t let the captain inside the cabin, with the â€śintension to destroyâ€ť the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference.
Follow RTâ€™s live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash
The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz.
The captain was between 30 ...
Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary
The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced.
â€śHenâ€ť will be added to â€śhanâ€ť (he) and â€śhonâ€ť (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academyâ€™s SAOL.
The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender â€“ either because ...
Unchecked government drones? Not over my backyard
On last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Amazon the green light to begin testing drones.
While you arenâ€™t likely to be getting your Amazon order delivered by drone anytime soon, as the approval is limited to research and testing, the fact remains that this technology is already part of our lives. Drones are already helping the federal government observe and ...
Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy.
Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Politicians and education experts from around the world â€“ including the UK â€“ have ...
German Airbus crashes in French Alps with 150 dead, black box found
An Airbus operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline crashed into a mountainside in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board including 16 schoolchildren.
Germanwings confirmed its flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf went down with 144 passengers and six crew on board.
One of the plane's black box recorders has been found at the crash site, about ...
|More News » |