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.
“If we could grow this bone, we could do anything else,” professor Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, who heads up the team, told FoxNews.com. “Stem cells are very smart. They can make anything as long as you place them in the right conditions and send them the right signals.”
Stem cells are the body’s own repair and maintenance mechanism and regenerative medicine utilizes the unique properties of stem cells to regenerate and differentiate to treat disease, trauma and injury.
The best stem cells to use in these emerging regenerative therapies will be the patient’s own [autologous] stem cells. Banking your own stem cells for future use is both convenient and affordable and as easy as a trip to the dentist.
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The future of Regenerative Medicine is now.