In just a few years, you might be able to grow your own replacement bones from stem cells.
Using pieces of human or animal bone as scaffolds, a Columbia University team has grown more than 50 healthy bones from stem cells — the largest approximately 2.5 inches long. Among other specimens, the researchers produced a cheek bone, a small part of a femur bone, and a complex temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is located in front of each ear and allows for chewing, speaking and smiling.
Using custom-built bioreactors housed at Columbia’s Biomedical Engineering Lab, the process currently takes three to five weeks, and the team is working on a faster turnaround. Read Full Story.