A nose transplant made from a 3D printed biomaterial

This world first is a feat achieved by the medical and surgical teams of the Oncopole de Toulouse. The patient in question suffered from cancer of the nasal septum, following radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments which allowed her to be cured, but which also led to the loss of her nose. However, none of the reconstructions attempted was successful, and she could not bear the wearing of a prosthesis, which is why for almost ten years, this patient lived without a nose.

Two surgeons then decided to use a new biomaterial, developed by a research laboratory, CIRIMAT, and by a Belgian company, Cerhum. Material that is already used for jawbone reconstruction.

The biomaterial consists of hydroxyapatite, a component of the enamel of our teeth and our bones. The researchers therefore 3D printed the structure of the patient’s nose before her treatments from scanner images. And this prosthetic nose is not smooth, it has interstices, hollows, holes, so that tissues, cells and blood vessels can colonize the structure…

The prosthesis was then slipped under the skin of the patient’s forearm – an act known as “nursing”. Two months later, the colonization was complete, the new nose could be transplanted. It is a technological innovation because it is a tailor-made reconstruction using a biomaterial integrated by the body, and it is a feat that will considerably improve the quality of life of this patient.

Interview with Agnès Dupret-Bories is a professor of surgery at the Institut Universitaire de Cancer de Toulouse Oncopole, a researcher at CIRIMAT, and in charge, with Dr Benjamin Vairel, of this transplant.


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59 mins

Always a nose story… with a fundamental question: how are nose holes formed?

The facial arrangement has remained the same in animals for almost 500 million years – a mouth, eyes and nostrils, in roughly the same place – which could suggest a common developmental mechanism, and that is what is the author of

this post, Vincent Fleury, CNRS researcher at the Matter and Complex Systems Laboratory. He thus filmed in high resolution the development of chicken embryos, taking them out of their amniotic sac to install them in a glass cell, with small ribbons to turn the embryo in the right orientation. This is the only way to properly observe the phenomenon since vertebrate embryos develop head down, and it is also the first time that this method has been used.

Result, the researcher shows that the nose holes are the direct consequence of the contraction of a fold at the corner of the mouth, which means according to the author, that embryogenesis does not only respond to the expression of genes, but also to physical mechanisms, which therefore also explains the conservation of these phenomena within species.

Separations among bird pairs are more common for highly migratory birds…

These couples do not separate because they can no longer bear it, but because one of them does not wait for the return of the other… And this is an astonishing result, insofar as 90% of the species of birds are monogamous. They form pairs that mainly reproduce among themselves and raise their young together. Some couples remain together throughout life and some break up, as is the case here.

To understand why, the authors of

this pre-release have studied 232 species, their “divorce” rates – and this is the term used here – by associating several parameters such as mortality or climate change, but also that of the distance traveled for which, moreover, they obtain the strongest correlation. For example, the great blue herons, which travel more than 3000 kilometers have a divorce rate of 100%. The authors explain that these separations take place to allow them to have a greater chance of reproducing, and not having to wait for their partner if they take too long to return, and especially if they never return.

58 mins

The European space agency, ESA, unveils its new promotion of astronauts, including the French Sophie Adenot… selected from more than 22,000 candidates

22,589 people precisely submitted their applications during the recruitment campaign which began in the spring of 2021. This is nearly 15,000 people more than during the previous recruitment campaign in 2008. How was this new promotion selected? First on file, consisting of questionnaires and CVs of candidates, only nationals of an ESA member country. It was also necessary to have a master’s degree and three years of minimum experience in natural sciences, biology, engineering, mathematics or computer sciences, which made it possible to drastically reduce the number of applicants to reduce their number to 1,500.

Second stage: a battery of tests – psychometric, psycho-cognitive and practical tests – then physical and mental aptitude tests. A medical selection therefore to meet international standards for long-term missions. And to finish, two interviews, one more to test the candidates’ skills, then a final interview with ESA director Josef Aschbacher (ASHBAKER). The group of 22,000 people was finally reduced to 5 official astronauts, but also and for the first time 12 reservists were selected, including a para-astronaut, an astronaut with a disability.

Thanks to Agnès Dupret-Bories for her valuable explanations

For further

Transplant Patient With 3D Printed Nose After Being Cropped On Her Arm (The world)

A primitive growl causing nose holes (CNRS)

“Divorce” rates are higher in birds that travel long distances (New Scientist)

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