"The ear is grown with Lieuwe van Gogh's cells," Strebe tells Gizmag. "By his natural relationship to Vincent, he carries in his cells the white chromosomes of Vincent and a 16th of his genome."
Strebe figured out the shape of the ear by looking at a historical photo of the artist, and extrapolated the measurements to create a 3D-printed mold that approximated its shape. A scaffold placed in the mold was seeded with Van Gogh's cells, which grew until the ear reached its final form. The result, states Strebe, is a true living piece.