An experimental 3D device used to treat hearing loss was recently approved by the FDA to treat an elderly man’s rare hearing loss, according to an article on the Nextgov website.

Related article: A New Solution for Automated 3D Virtual Modeling of Custom Hearing Aid Shells

According to the article, this was the “first time” the FDA has granted compassionate use authorization to the Veterans Affairs Department, who initially made the request for veteran Michael Nicoletti.

Nicoletti was found to have conductive hearing loss caused by the collapse of cartilage. A former engineer, he cut off an inch-long piece of straw and inserted it into his ear, effectively opening up the canal to allow sound in. He approached the VA with the idea of utilizing its 3D-printing network to make a stent that help improve his hearing loss without resorting to surgery.

To read the story in its entirety, please click here.

Source: Nextgov