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Novel Synthetic Tympanic Membrane Implant using Biomanufacturing Technologies"Tympanic membrane replacement by melt electrowriting", Figure from Witzleben, Max von et al. ( licensed under CC BY 4.0
01. February 2021

Novel Synthetic Tympanic Membrane Implant using Biomanufacturing Technologies

The tympanic membrane (TM) in healthy humans is a complex layered structure providing high sensitivity to small dynamic pressure changes (e.g. soundwaves) while at the same time being resistant to large quasi-static pressures. Together with researchers from the Center for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research, ERCD scientists have now shown that a biomimetic TM replacement can be created using melt electrowriting (MEW).

This novel additive manufacturing technique allows for the fabrication of highly organized and biodegradable membranes with the dimensions of the TM. It was demonstrated that by customizing fiber orientation, fiber diameter, and number of layers the desired properties of the TM can be met. Micropores in the MEW‐printed membrane were sealed by applying a thin collagen layer. The acoustic and mechanical properties of the resulting membrane are beneficial for implantation, closely match those of the human TM, and support the growth of a neo‐epithelial layer.

The published work proves for the first time that a biomimetic TM replacement is possible using MEW.


Witzleben, M. von, Stoppe, T., Ahlfeld, T., Bernhardt, A., Polk, M.-L., Bornitz, M., Neudert, M., & Gelinsky, M. (2021). Biomimetic Tympanic Membrane Replacement Made by Melt Electrowriting. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2002089.