New Bones Formed by Stem Cells
By Windsor Genova, AHN Media Corp, November 10, 2007
A breakthrough in human bone treatment has been made by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Malaysian stem cell firm StemLife Bhd. By using natural bone substances in combination with stem cells, a team of scientists has developed a new technique to produce bones. By combining stem cells with collagen and hydroxyapatite, NUS and StemLife scientists announced that they were able to produce a new substance that acts like bone.
Hydroxyapatite is an inorganic mineral that make up the bone. Giving structural strength to bone, blood vessels, heart, skin, cartilage, and eye; collagen is a protein in human tissues. Found in all multi-cellular organisms that retain the ability to renew themselves, stem cells are considered to be primal cells.
New bone tissue is generated when the invented biomaterial mineralizes bone-forming stem cells or osteoblasts said Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, the NUS' dean of engineering, in an interview on nanotechnology website Azonano.com.
In order to treat defective bone and muscle, as well as heal wounds, the technique will enable orthopedic doctors to create bone linings and bone fillers according to StemLife.
Orthopedic science could be revolutionized in the future due to this breakthrough said Professor Aw Tar Choon who is the chief medical officer of StemLife. The bone grafting industry, which is currently operating at over $1-billion dollars, will also be open to the firm now.
International scientific journals published the findings of the Singapore and Malaysian scientists. At a cost of $90,046, it took StemLife two years to conduct the research on developing new bone.