Engineers Develop Living Bone Ex Vivo Imitating The Natural Bone Structure

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Creation is one of the most beautiful things that we all owed to Mother Nature till date. However, a few engineers have taken a step ahead in this direction by mimicking the natural processes in the most basic form. The team came up with a new method of bone growth that mirrors the natural process of anatomical bone formation. It can basically work to sort out the defects accompanying this process by growing a bone that can be exact copy of the original bone. This discovery can be used in taking are of major bone defects that cripple people for a lifetime. The quality of newly generated tissues is a pretty higher than the original one.

This “living bone” was grown in a laboratory which replicated the original structure in the most perfect manner. The tissue culture uses autologous stem cells that are able to match the natural anatomy in a precise way. These cells are extracted from a small amount of recipient’s fat. Contrary to being an implant, the lab-grown living bone behaves and sets more like a part of body that is capable of interacting with all elements and other parts of body. The practical prototype of this bone by created by developing a bioreactor chamber and scaffold on the basis of a weight-bearing jaw defect to get the most perfect anatomical fit. The best part of story is that researchers could attain bone formation excluding all growth factors, along with, they also attained all kind of mechanical functions that a bone is supposed to do.

In lab, the bone formation took place in a scaffold carved from bone matrix in a custom-designed perfused bioreactor. The total development took place in 21 days with the help of stem cells from the recipients from a small fat sample of his body. To simulate the potential logistics for bone manufacturing and bone recipient need to be at a distance from each other. A development of this kind can play key role in treatment of traumas, congenital defects, and bone repair after cancer surgery. Clinical trials for this development will start in a few years, this will open doors for better quality regenerative medicinal options for craniofacial defects.

The experiment and research were carried out at Columbia Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine, and Tulane University School of Medicine.