Lab-Grown Bones Successfully Implanted in Pigs

23bone-master768The pigs, all 14 of them, are doing fine. Considering they’d been retrofitted with bone grown in a laboratory, that came as a pleasant surprise.

“The pigs woke up, and a half-hour later they were eating,” said Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University. “We thought they would be in pain. But no, they’re doing great.”

Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic and her colleagues have managed to create living bone from stem cells. First, they made a CT scan to create a 3-D image of each pig’s jaw. From cow bone, they sculpted a “scaffold” — a three-dimensional copy of the pig bone.

They put the scaffold in a nutrient solution along with stem cells extracted from the pigs. The cells attached to the scaffold, forming a new bone identical to the original. Then the researchers implanted the new bone in each pig. They reported their results in Science Translational Medicine.

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About Peter Coffaro 1134 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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