Girl, 10, set to be first person in UK to receive 3D-printed ear

  • Watch ITV Cymru Wales' video report by Charanpreet Khaira

A ten-year-old girl from Pembrokeshire is due to be the first person in Britain to receive a 3D-printed ear.

Radiyah Miah has a congenital condition called microtia, which means she was born without a properly formed left ear.

Scientists at Swansea University are now working on technology that would see some of her own cartilage used to create a new one.

Researchers say Radiyah is at the top of the list to receive the pioneering procedure.

It's all part of a £2.5 million research programme that aims to 'revolutionise surgeons' ability to reconstruct nose and ear cartilage' in patients.

The procedure with a 3D-printed ear will be much shorter than a standard operation.

It also means that surgeons don't need to take tissue from elsewhere in the body, meaning there will be less scaring.

Radiyah's father Rana said the surgery would require a lot less time and effort for his daughter.

Speaking to ITV News about when he found out about the 3D-bioprinting surgery he said:

"I was very pleased because it saves any big operation. It's quite amazing to be honest, she will have a matching ear soon hopefully."

Radiyah has had to travel from her home in Milford Haven to Swansea to see medical professionals every few months for several years, but this slowed down during the pandemic.

Rana now hopes, with the easing of lockdown restriction in Wales that the procedure won't be far off.

Radiyah says she is excited to get her other ear pierced after the procedure.

Funding from The Scar Free Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales has helped to pay for specialist equipment and extra staff.

Plastic surgeon and Professor Iain Whitaker says this pioneering research has the potential to transform medicine, not just plastic surgery.

How does it work?

Cells are taken from the human body and expanded and then put into ink.

That is then printed into a 3D shape which is implanted back into the body.

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