Melbourne, May 29: Australian researchers have found silkworms can repair damaged eardrums. The team of researchers, based in Melbourne and Perth, have developed a device that incorporated silk into the “ClearDrum” ear implant, as silk is flexible and ideal for the device.
It is similar to a contact lens which a recipient’s cells can grow on.
“We felt that it had shown previously to support cell growth and proliferation, and the ability to be able to change into various forms was a really appealing thing for us, particularly when we started to mix it with other products to create different mechanical and acoustic criteria,” Atlas told the media on Monday.
“The skin cells are there – it’s getting them to come across and heal, so it’s sort of a scaffold.”
The device surgically placed under a damaged eardrum on which new tissue can grow.
For small damage the device dissolves with time after the hole is repaired but for larger-scale damage the device remains in place indefinitely.
For clinical trial of the device, The Wellcome Trust, a charity based in Britain has provided $2.9 million to fund.