Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Ear splint to correct congenital ear deformities

Technology #7199

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Researchers
David Zopf
Managed By
Mutsumi Yoshida
Licensing and Market Specialist 734.763.0441
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Congenital ear deformities such as low grade microtia, lop ear, Stahl ear, cryptotia, or prominotia are fairly common in infants. Currently, there are two ways to treat ear deformities: ear molding and ear surgery. Surgery is costly, and the risks of anesthesia and other complications usually defer surgery until the child reaches six years of age. However, deformities of the ears can lead to psychosocial trauma in children. Therefore, if it is possible, ear modeling is preferred since the infant ear is malleable in the first several weeks of life and deformities can be corrected before surgical intervention is needed.

Ear Splint

Since infant ear cartilage is pliable, an ear splintt to help model the ear during the first few weeks of life is ideal. This ear splint has a low profile, is highly comfortable and cost effective. Additionally, each splint can be 3D printed, specific for each patient’s individual ear. The design and production of each splint is rapid and ideal for newborn infants. Additionally, it avoids adhesives that can lead to complications and skin breakdown.

Applications

  • Correcting ear deformities
  • Potential for ear bud design
  • Potential for ear plug design

Advantages

  • Low costs
  • Fast production time
  • 3D printing and computer design for patient specificity
  • Low profile
  • Comfortable