Crowdfunding campaign for 3D printed prosthetic ears

An exciting crowdfunding campaign to fast track the development of 3D printed prosthetic ears for children born without an ear kicks off recently. The FutureHear crowdfunding campaign is part of a partnership between QUT and Hear and Say, a charity providing hearing, listening and speaking solutions for children, to develop next-generation 3D printed prosthetic ears.

Associate Professor Mia Woodruff, from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said the crowdfunding for FutureHear gave everyone a chance to support world-first medical research to help children with microtia have a normal life.

No one in the world is researching 3D printing of life-like materials to create external ears,” Professor Woodruff said. Crowdfunding is common nowadays for start-ups and arts projects but it is not the usual route to gaining financial support for biomedical research.”

Professor Woodruff said a further research goal was to produce technology to enable prosthetic ears to be 3D printed as cheaply as the cost of a pair of glasses.

Dr Dimity Dornan AO, Hear and Say’s Founder and Executive Director, said the research collaboration was a step towards the ultimate goal of the FutureHear project which was to develop a living ear with in-built hearing assistance technology.

The FutureHearcrowdfund was launched as part of the eighth Hear and Say Australian Microtia and Atresia Conference. FutureHear is crowdfunded on Pozible.