This report concerns the tissue-engineered growth of new cartilage in the shape of a human ear. Using synthetic biodegradable polyesters, a porous, three dimensional device in the shape of a human ear was fabricated. The polymer matrices were seeded with living chondrocytes isolated from a freshly sacrificed calf shoulder and implanted subcutaneously on the dorsum of athymic rats. This resulted in the formation of new cartilage in the shape of a human ear of approximately the same dimensions as the original implants. Histological analysis revealed the presence of mature cartilage in all specimens.
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