Bone Transplant Grown In Patient's Abdomen From Stem Cells

A bone transplant grown in the abdomen of a 65 year old man has been used to replace his jawbone. The transplant was cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue.

"There have been a couple of similar-sounding procedures before, but these didn't use the patient's own stem cells that were first cultured and expanded in laboratory and differentiated into bone tissue," said Riitta Suuronen of the Regea Institute of Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Tampere, Finland.

Stem cells were isolated from the patient's fat; mesenchymal stem cells, which give rise to bone, muscle or blood vessels were identified.

The cells were attached to a calcium phosphate biomaterial used as a scaffold to shape the transplant. After growing in the patient's abdomen for nine months, it was removed and connected to the skull bone. Microsurgery connected arteries and veins to the vessels of the neck.

Science fiction is replete with references to the idea of readily available transplants; this is a real technology that can solve problems today. Frank Herbert dreamed of something like this when he wrote about the Atlotl/Gibiril Regimen in his 1972 book The Godmakers.

Orne began to show small but steady signs of recovery... they placed him on an atlotl/gibiril regimen, forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers and eye, restore his scalp line and erase the other internal-external damage.
(Read more about the Atlotl/Gibiril Regimen)

Be sure to take a look at an earlier effort; see Bio Ink Jet Printing Muscle And Bone, which uses a somewhat different technique. Progress has also been made in regenerating bones; see University of California Bone Regeneration, which details a technique that has been called the most significant advance in this field in decades.

Via Reuters.

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