A team led by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, of Columbia University has successfully grown a variety of bone structures utilizing a scaffold infused with stem cells.
The team has grown more than 50 healthy bones from stem cells. The team is experimenting with a variety of scaffolding materials, including bone stripped of all cellular material as well as silk scaffolds developed by Tufts University. The scaffolding with the stem cells are housed in a bioreactor which nourishes and directs the stem cells to regenerate and differentiate into newbone. As the new bone develops, the scaffolding material dissolves, resulting in new, fully-functioning bone.