By Gage Simpson

Owner of New Frontier News

Friday, March 15, 2019

(NEW FRONTIER NEWS) – Doctors at Steve Biko Academic Hospital performed the world’s first middle ear bone transplant.

The breakthrough procedure used 3D printed prosthetic, giving a 35-year-old man the ability to hear again after a car crash damaged his middle ear bones.

Professor Mashudu Tshifularo developed the breakthrough procedure after a 10-year feasibility study determined that 3D printed prosthetics were the best solution.

The prosthetic is made of Titanium and is biocompatible.

According to Tshifularo, he hopes investors and donors to help support this procedure as it could help millions hear again.

The procedure itself according to Tshifularo causes minimal scarring less risk due to the less invasive surgery using an endoscope.

The procedure can be done on both adults and children and can be used to help middle ear damage caused by trauma, congenital birth defects, and infections.

The procedure already has already been performed successfully on two more patients.


Mbamalu, Socrates. (March 2019). South African Surgeon Performs World First Surgical Process Using 3D-Printed Middle-Ear Bones. AllAfrica. South Africa.

Staff writer. (March 2019). The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has successfully completed the world’s first ever middle ear transplant that has allowed a 35-year-old man to be able to hear again. News24. South Africa.

Staff writer. (March 2019). SA doctors use 3D printing in world’s first ever middle ear transplant. CapeTalk. South Africa.