What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

3-D Printed Ear Detects Frequencies One Million Times Higher than Human Ear

August 17, 2013, 10:05 AM
Ear

What's the Latest Development?

Biologists at Princeton University have used 3-D printing technology to create a bionic ear capable of detecting frequencies one million times higher than the normal range of hearing. To build the bionic organ, the printer was guided by a computer model of an ear into which the biologists had added an internal antenna coil connected to an external electrode. The printer used three principle "inks" to construct the ear: "a mix of bovine cartilage-forming cells suspended in a thick goo of hydrogel; a suspension of silver nanoparticles to form the coil and external cochlea-shaped electrodes; and silicone to encase the electronics."

What's the Big Idea? 

The ear was chosen as a model organ because its curved form is difficult for traditional models of tissue engineering to imitate, and since it is made of cartilage, the burden of creating synthetic blood vessels is not an impediment to researchers. "Beyond enabling biological tissues to incorporate materials with exceptional properties, 3-D printing could address a tissue–engineering challenge: how to grow organs with blood vessels. 'Vasculature networks have an incredibly complicated geometry,' McAlpine says. Such a breakthrough would be key to printing organs that contain blood vessels, such as livers, kidneys, and hearts."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at MIT Technology Review

 

3-D Printed Ear Detects Fre...

Newsletter: Share: