3D-Printed Ear Uses Integrated Radio Antenna to 'Hear'

A team of scientists led by Michael McAlpine of Princeton University used additive manufacturing to 3D-print a 'bionic' ear with a built-in radio antenna. The ear contains interwoven biological cells, structural components, and nanoelectronic materials. McAlpine's team has made several advances in recent years involving the use of small-scale medical sensors and antennas, but this project is the team's first effort to create a fully functional organ. Not only does the ear replicate a human ability, it can 'hear' radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. In this video, radio transmitters broadcast Beethoven's 'Fur Elise'; the signal is received by the printed left and right ears and transmitted by wires to the oscilloscope and to the speakers.