Human Bones Grown from Stem Cells Harvested From Patient’s Fat
The technology, which has been developed along with researchers at the Technion Institute of Research in Israel, uses three dimensional scans of the damaged bone to build a gel-like scaffold that matches the shape.
Stem cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells, which have the capacity to develop into many other types of cell in the body, are obtained from the patient’s fat using liposuction. These are then grown into living bone on the scaffold inside a “bioreactor” – an automated machine that provides the right conditions to encourage the cells to develop into bone.
Already animals have successfully received bone transplants. The scientists were able to insert almost an inch of laboratory-grown human bone into the middle section of a rat’s leg bone, where it successfully merged with the remaining animal bone. The technique could ultimately allow doctors to replace bones that have been smashed in accidents, fill in defects where bone is missing such as cleft palate, or carry out reconstructive plastic surgery.
Professor Kadouri said work was also under way to grow the soft cartilage at the ends of bones, which is needed if entire bones are to be produced in a laboratory.
(via Human bones grown from fat in laboratory - Telegraph)