Skip to comments.Bones repaired with stroke of a pen
Posted on 12/27/2013 5:17:05 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
SURGEONS may soon be able to "draw" new bone, skin and muscle on to patients after scientists created a pen-like device that can apply human cells directly to car-crash victims and others with serious injuries.
Australian scientists have made a "BioPen", which allows doctors to apply stem cells and growth factors on to damaged and diseased bones. The machine works in a similar way to a 3D printer, building up the materials required to heal a bone. Experts have said it could improve bone reconstruction surgery.
The device was created at the University of Wollongong and St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. It could be ready for human trials within five years. The scientists say it could also be used to heal damaged skin and muscle. "The next most immediate application may be in bone regeneration," said Gordon Wallace, director of the university's intelligent polymer research institute. "As we optimise the BioPen design and add new features ... we anticipate other applications."
Peter Choong, the director of orthopaedics at St Vincent's, said: "This type of treatment may be suitable for repairing acutely damaged bone and cartilage, for example, from sporting or motor vehicle injuries."
Instead of using implants, which do not work exactly as human tissue does, a matrix of human cells would turn into real cartilage, and doctors might be able to sketch replacement bone to the exact needs of a patient.
Professor Wallace and his team created the device after asking doctors how best to combine the science behind stem cells with developments in 3D printing.
The BioPen delivers cell material inside a protective gel. This gel is made up of a "biopolymer", such as alginate, a seaweed extract, which is protected by an outer layer of gel. The two layers of gel are combined within the pen head to create a "bio-ink". This gel is forced on to the bone surface and the surgeon "draws" with the ink to fill in the damaged bone.
An ultraviolet light is used to solidify the ink, providing protection for the cells while they are built up, layer by layer, to construct a 3D "scaffold" inside a wound. Once cells are drawn, they develop and multiply to become nerves, muscle and bone.
Researchers have grown new knee cartilage, which could "treat cancers, osteoarthritis and traumatic injury".
This Is astonishingly good news!
more than a minute after reading the article..Im still sitting here basking in its utter genius
I don't have any health insurance right now, since O-bomb-ya-care priced me out of the market. My great hope is to survive for 3 more years without any falls, broken bones, or medical crises (I'm 62) so that at 65 I can get onto Medicare and maybe get a left knee replacement.
Think there will be a 3-D bone-and-cartilege-drawing pen out there in 3 - 5 years?
Think there will be a Medicare?
Pity, that society collapses soon.
We’re a the precipice of many wonderful medical breakthroughs, just as we are entering into a third world medical system. I’m sure the elites will be privy to the modern medicine, however.
This is some straight up sci-fi stuff. WOW
Research “medical tourism” on the Internet. I predict it will save millions of lives and save people 50-80% on operations and other medical treatments. India, the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico and many countries in South America are already beefing up their infrastructure.
I had a humeral head fracture a few months ago. (shoulder, displaced.)
The surgery entailed a plate and 12 screws, and I’m told they use a substance described as an epoxy made with cadaver bone powder.
As a professional in this area, color me skeptical. At most this would be a secondary treatment.
Yeah -— I can see it coming...
Yes at least one of those visionary writers of the past likely wrote about this somewhere not all that many years ago.
its looking fairly DIM at present but theres always that Miracle...
Times are changing. Here is one for your ping list.
And when plastic surgeons get this technology you'll see weirdos wanting horns on their forehead, and spurs on their arms. Tatoos won't hold a candle to what people will do with their bodies in the near-future.
This is not the only ground breaking medical technology coming out of Australia, nor is it the most important or near to commercialization. Check out PolyNovo Biomaterials for example. What they are doing with the treatment of serious burns is game changing, and has attracted the interest of the US government. Or Phosphagenics with their abuse resistant transdermal oxymorphone, and topical oxycodone (not central nervous sysyem, does not enter the bloodstream).
Lots of good stuff coming out of the land down under.
“Bones” McCoy would be proud.