BRITISH face surgeons are to grow new skull, cheek and jaw bones on patients’ backs using their own stem cells.
The surgeons, from Barts and the London NHS Trust, hope to use the technique to help people whose facial bones have been destroyed by cancer or injury.
Four patients are awaiting the treatment, which the surgeons believe could eventually become a less risky alternative to face transplants. Two are cancer victims and two have had accidents.
The team, led by Iain Hutchison, will make the first attempt to grow replacement bone from a patient’s own stem cells in Britain.
The procedure involves constructing
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Stem cells can thrive in segments of well-vascularized tissue temporarily removed from laboratory animals, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Once the cells have nestled into the tissue’s nooks and crannies, the so-called “bioscaffold” can then be seamlessly reconnected to the animal’s circulatory system.
The new technique neatly sidesteps a fundamental stumbling block in tissue engineering: the inability to generate solid organs from stem cells in the absence of a reliable supply of blood to the interior of the developing structure.
“Efforts to use tissue engineering to generate whole organs have largely failed,” said Geoffrey Gurtner,
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 suffers from something called, peripheral arterial disease or PAD. It can result in clogged arteries in your legs, which can cause a heart attack, if left untreated. But now there’s a new approach. Doctors using a patient’s own stem cells to clear things up. (…)
The arteries in her leg are clogged with plaque which puts her at risk for heart attack, stroke and amputation. Traditionally, doctors treat PAD with stents, angioplasties or bypasses. But now, they’re using a patient’s own stem cells to try and save her legs.