Growing our own bones: Another step in regenerative medicine?

bone
[Nina] Tandon is co-founder and CEO of EpiBone, a company working on custom-growing bones using patients’ own stem cells. In a talk at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego [November 4-7], Tandon shared some of her company’s work and her insights into regenerative medicine, a field with tremendous promise for improving human well-being.

[W]e’re learning how to fix and rebuild our own bodies using, well, our own bodies. Some examples include CAR-T therapies, which fight cancer using a patient’s own cells; regenerative medicine, which uses stem cells to repair body parts or make new ones; and microbiome analyses, which use our gut bacteria to fashion personalized dietary treatments.

Tandon’s expertise, though, is in personalized bones.

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Here are some details of their method.

Related article:  Why Microsoft wants to design a system that stores data in DNA

First, patients undergo a CT scan to determine the size and shape of the bone they need. Stem cells are extracted from the adipose (fatty) tissue in the abdomen. A scaffold model of the bone is created, as is a custom bioreactor to grow the bone in.

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When they’re ready, the stem cells are infused into the bone scaffold, and a personalized bone graft grows in the bioreactor in just three weeks. When the new bone is implanted into the patient’s body, the surrounding tissue seamlessly integrates with it.

Epibone is hoping to start human clinical trials next year.

Read full, original post: Custom-Grown Bones, and Other Wild Advances in Regenerative Medicine

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