Can tissue engineering provide a cheap and convenient alternative to surgery for eardrum repair?
Nature Outline |
Eardrum regeneration: membrane repair
A burst eardrum — like a stubbed toe — is a common injury. Although ruptures can cause pain and hearing loss, most will heal naturally. For those that don’t, however, the only option is specialist surgery, but this is expensive and carries risks. It would be far better to try to stimulate the eardrum to heal itself, which is what tissue-engineering researchers think they have achieved.
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In the most severe cases, a ruptured eardrum can require surgery to put it right, but tissue-engineering techniques might provide a much simpler solution.