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.
Ruptured eardrums are relatively common. Fortunately, small tears usually heal by themselves. But some large tears need to be repaired by a surgeon. This animation shows how a new tissue engineering technique could make that process much easier and cheaper. The technique uses a scaffold and growth factor to stimulate the eardrum’s own cells to grow over the tear.
Nature is pleased to acknowledge financial support from Translational Research Informatics Center (TRI) and Kitano Hospital in producing this Outline. The sponsor retains sole responsibility for the following messages.
The Translational Research Informatics Center (TRI) was founded in 2002 as the first data centre in Japan to promote academia-originated medical innovation. The Academic Research Organization (ARO) network was established in 2013 by TRI and is now transforming into an Asian ARO network in conjunction with Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Furthermore, we plan to soon expand the network globally to Europe and the United States. Our aim is to develop an infrastructure to support the launch of global clinical trials of academia-originated projects and to obtain regulatory approval worldwide.