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".
I wish they had this thirty years ago.
Will there eventually be sixty five year old pro football players?
Just like Brycreem
A little dab’ll do ya.
.... Of course the first few sentences sum up the genius that is scientific reporting!!! .... All scientists need to do is invent such a device!!! Personally I can't wait until they invent the Magic Wand that can miraculously do anything!!! Yup ..... All they have to do is invent it!! Heck ...... I can't wait (Although logic would dictate that I have to)
If we don’t have money for Obamacare premiums, or even old-fashioned premiums, we certainly don’t have money for medical tourism! Sheesh, I couldn’t afford one domestic plane ticket, much less a foreign ticket, much less housing, meals, ground transport, and a medical procedure in a foreign country.
I dunno, but if he gets much older the Cards will sign him....
Where are they going to get the raw materials. Stem cells from a random person would be promptly rejected. It could work with stem cells from the patient, but it would take time to collect some and then expand them in the lab sufficient for the task. Everyone having sufficient spares frozen away is a SF dream, which may or may not become possible, but certainly won’t become so soon.
One to keep an eye on :-)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.