Bio Face

"The New Gold Standard": 3D Bioface in Action

In November 2023, we visited Swansea University's Recon/Regen Lab to learn more about the 3D Bioface project.

Led by Professor Iain Whitaker, the end goal of this exciting project is to 3D print ears and noses out of living tissue. Using a unique bioink formulation and specialised 3D printers, all it takes is a "very small tissue sample, the size of a hole punch" to grow an ear from scratch.

Bringing this technology into a clinical setting will save patients from invasive surgery and additional scarring. Researchers hope it will be "the new gold standard in facial reconstruction."

Researchers Dr Laurence Hill and Dr Matthew Turner spoke to us about their roles in the project, the complex bioengineering challenges they face, and their hopes for the future.

The Scar Free Foundation Programme of Facial Reconstruction and Regeneration Research at Swansea University is co-funded with Health and Care Research Wales. It was launched in 2021. You can read our coverage of the launch here on our news page, or learn more about the team by visiting