Making new bone in the lab
Researchers at the University of Southampton are creating bone in the lab to help patients who suffer damage to their joints through injury or disease.
By combining bone stem cells with a 3D printed scaffold, Professor Richard Oreffo and team have been able to recreate hip implants custom designed for the patient.
There’s a place for synthetic implants, but by repairing your own body with your own tissue there is less chance of rejection.
In the video above you can see cells ‘proliferating’ or increasing in number. The team use and apply scaffolds in a range of materials, including titanium which are then seeded with the patient’s own bone stem cells and a bone graft. This 3D printed, custom designed implant can then be inserted into the patient.
There are tens of thousands of bone injuries in the UK each year.
With an increasingly ageing population, this method for creating bone is an exciting concept. Professor Richard Oreffo hopes that given their data from 3 patients over the last 12 months, within 5-7 years the procedure could become mainstream, routine practice.
To read the full interview with Professor Oreffo visit: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/people-skills-training/2014/141106-f-gbbf-science-behind-exhibit-scaffold-and-cells/