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People with perforated eardrums will put their faith in silkworms

Photo: Silkworms and science heal eardrums
New human trials will start this year to help people with perforated eardrums and chronic middle ear disease thanks to experts in Perth and Melbourne.

People with perforated eardrums will put their faith in silkworms and scientific research to restore their hearing, in a world-first human clinical trial starting this year thanks to Melbourne and Perth experts.

Researchers and scientists created a tiny bio-compatible silk implant, ClearDrum, on which a person's cells grow and then heal the eardrum, the Ear Science Institute Australia says.

It is similar in size and appearance to a contact lens.

Perth-based surgeon scientist Professor Marcus Atlas from Ear Science Institute Australia and Ear Science Centre at the University of WA is leading the team who created the technology, in collaboration with fibre experts at Deakin University's Future Fibres Hub.
The bio-compatible silk implant has been tested for years in a laboratory at Ear Science Institute Australian and Deakin and is expected to be more superior to the natural eardrum and will also help people with chronic middle ear disease.

The UK's Wellcome Trust Translation Fund awarded the project almost $4 million to finance human clinical trials to bring the implant to the market and reduce the impact of perforated eardrums globally.

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