Home > Uses for Stem Cells > Growing Facial Bones With Stem Cells

Growing Facial Bones With Stem Cells

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 7 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Stem Cells Bone Cancer Success

It seems as though the uses for stem cells have no boundaries. In the past few years, they have been used to create a damaged trachea and have even replaced heart tissue. In a recent example of the potential for stem cell use, these cells were used to grow facial bones in a boy who had no cheekbones.

Stem Cells to Create New Bone

While we have ways to substitute bone now, these are far from ideal. Surgeons will repair bone using an array of materials such as plastic and metal substances. If we could grow bone from stem cells, it would mean using something natural that works just like already existing bone. The potential for the body to reject a foreign material would be removed.

In fact, a person who has bone removed from another part of their body to replace bone where it is needed can still reject the transplant. Better still is that with stem cells, we could ensure that the bone functions as it should whereas function and form from other substitutes remain imperfect.

Giving a Patient New Bone

In the recent case of a teenaged boy, stem cells derived from fat tissue were used. This particular patient was born with a very rare genetic defect that meant he was missing cheekbones. If you think about your cheekbones, they are not simply composed of useless bone with no purpose.

Your cheekbones actually serve an important function by protecting your eyes. For this particular patient, it means that the surgery was far from being just one to improve his appearance. In the surgery, doctors were able to use the stem cells to grow new cheekbones for the boy.

Challenges Ahead for Stem Cells

While it is exciting and positive that the procedure was a success, it is far from being a simple procedure that will work for everyone who requires new bone. One reason that surgery was so successful in this specific case is due to the age of the boy. The body has a better ability to regenerate and heal at this tender, young age. Surgeons warn that the results may not be as quick in an elderly person, for instance.

Something else to keep in mind is that the true measure of the procedure being fully effective is years away. Sometimes, a transplant will work initially but may later be rejected. While the surgeons are optimistic that the procedure went well in the recent case of the teenaged boy, they do caution that five years or more down the road will be important benchmarks to ensure the bone is still functional.

Stem Cells to Repair Bones

If this experiment is a sign of things to come, it could mean that anyone who requires bone could benefit. This might be a person who has bone cancer or someone who has been injured in a war. Other times, it may be a case of repairing bone that was damaged from an accident. Hopefully, we will continue to see benefits from stem cells used to help those who need bone repair.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Candouble stem cell restore lost tooth
babs - 7-Sep-16 @ 4:51 PM
I have a broken elbow and a broken jaw bone.. i was wondering if there are clinical trials? And i would like to volunteer if there are options.
Bharat Devnani - 16-Jun-16 @ 1:20 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Karen
    Re: Stem Cells and Same Sex Reproduction
    Me and my partner jill, are actually wanting for more progress for this to occur because we are ecstatic for this…
    10 December 2017
  • Big Bear
    Re: Turning Stem Cells Into Sperm
    I am a 52 Year Old Man and I was Born in 1965 with Undecended Testicles and My Parents did not do anything about this Condition…
    5 December 2017
  • Mary
    Re: Stem Cells for Stroke Victims
    I am paralyzed left hand and fingers. Is there any way you can help me? I want to enjoy my grandbabies. I'm about ready to hive…
    4 December 2017
  • ExploreStemCells
    Re: Therapeutic Cloning
    Science - Your Question:Has there been a change to the website? I could not find a few articles I have seen before.
    4 December 2017
  • prakash
    Re: Stem Cells for Pancreatic Tissue
    i am suffering for chronic pancreatitis can stem cell help me to have once again a healthy pancreas ?
    4 December 2017
  • George
    Re: Stem Cells for Stroke Victims
    I suffered a left-side Stroke on June 2, 2015 while jogging after work. Today I am wheel-chair bound, although I can use a…
    3 December 2017
  • Science
    Re: Therapeutic Cloning
    Has there been a change to the website? I could not find a few articles I have seen before.
    2 December 2017
  • Blessing
    Re: Stem Cells and Insulin-free Diabetics
    Pls I am living in port Harcourt, rivers state, nigeria and 1 am diabetic for eight year now. How do I get cured, how…
    2 December 2017
  • Kelly
    Re: Stem Cells and Autism
    i have a 5year old boys who non verbal and servely autistic and am inrrested in stem cell treatment is there any where in the uk
    29 November 2017
  • Pete
    Re: Stem Cells and Autism
    Hi Can you tell me about any UK based centres offering stem cell therapy and costs involved. Which centres have the best success rate…
    28 November 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ExploreStemCells website. Please read our Disclaimer.