Sunday, September 15, 2013

3-D printed "bionic ear"

Princeton's bionic ear
(image from a video produced by the
international society for optics and photonics) 
Using a 3-D printer, researchers have built a bionic ear that can tune in frequencies beyond the normal human hearing range--including TV and Wi-Fi and direct signals from a cell phone.The researcher from Princeton and Johns Hopkins used both electronics and living tissue--and were aided by a 3-D printer. A computer model of an ear guided the printer. Eventually, they say it could be developed to help someone hear in the same way that a cochlear implant does. Princeton professor Michael McAlpine explains the new possibilities for further combinations of electronics with biological tissue.