Founder: Nicole Black
Location: Cambridge, MA
“We aim to turn up the volume on the eardrum through novel materials and manufacturing technologies,” Beacon Biomimetics founder Nicole Black said during BIOMEDigital. Tympanoplasty to repair the tympanic membrane (TM) or eardrum typically involves use of graft materials that are autologous tissues harvested from the patient at the time of the procedure, but ENT surgeons have reported problems with currently used grafts, she said.
Beacon Biomimetics is developing PhonoGraft as an alternative. It employs a synthetic 3D-printed, biodegradable graft, and its biomimetic structure can integrate with native TM tissue, which could improve healing and hearing outcomes for patients. And instead of having to harvest patient tissue, surgeons could just open a sterile package that could be stored at a variety of conditions. Procedures may even be able to move from operating rooms to clinics, Black said.