Doctors perform almost a million bone-graft surgeries each year in the United States, and despite many advancements in medicine, the procedure remains surprisingly primitive.
In most cases, surgeons must cut open the patient to harvest a piece of bone, then cut them open again to set the graft in its new home. Or they use bone from a cadaver, which can carry a small risk of disease.
Some young scientists believe they have a better solution.
What if we could engineer a customized human bone in a laboratory, grown in mere weeks from a patient’s own cells? It would reduce the risk of infection and the fear that a patient’s body might reject the transplant.
That’s the vision behind EpiBone, a fledgling medical startup that seeks to revolutionize bone surgery.