A miracle bandage that can heal broken bones has been created by British scientists.
The bio-material dramatically accelerates healing – and is about to revolutionise the treatment of fractures.
Embedded with 2 sorts of cells, it are often stuck onto an injury “like a plaster,” say the team. The technique, could even be used to fix other damaged tissues & organs.
Lead author Dr Shukry Habib, of King’s College London, said: “Our technology is that the first to engineer a bone-like tissue from human bone stem cells within the lab within one week and successfully transplant it in defect to initiate & accelerate repair.”
It offers hope of less pain, complications, infections & poor outcomes for serious injuries. Clinical trials are already being planned.
The chemical cocktail includes stem cells – master cells which will become any sort of tissue or organ – and mature bone cells.
They are coated in a protein used throughout the body for growth and repair to simulate parts of the healthy bone.
Dr Habib said: “This bandage are often stuck to the fracture like plaster & enhance the bone’s ability to heal – which accelerates the repair process.”
Pensioners and people in late middle age are likely to be the most important beneficiaries, as bone loses its ability to heal with age.
But professional athletes, soldiers and many other. who want to recover over bone damage as quickly as possible for his or her career could also find it useful.
Dr Habib said: “This new method improves repair and should change how broken bones are treated.”
It are often accelerated even more by generating bone cells during a 3-dimensional gel on the bandage – and transplanting it into the fracture.
Dr Habib said: “The breakthrough could make a drastic difference in recovery times for patients with serious bone fractures.
“The healing process from a critical or serious fracture are often slow or can even fail in vulnerable patients like the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.”
Current methods to repair bone is to use synthetic implants or donor tissue – where bone is taken from elsewhere within the body – to repair the break.
This relies on the body’s own capability to heal – which may be weakened after serious injury.
Cell-based therapies – where additional cells are grown and introduced into the fracture – have thus far appeared promising. But the implanted cells in existing technologies often die & lack future support of the healing bone.
The ‘bone-like bandage’ supports the survival and bone forming ability of those extra stem and bone cells throughout the healing process.
It was designed at Dr Habib’s lab at the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine to specifically target the fracture – and doesn’t leak to the healthy tissue.
The bandages can even be made biodegradable to easily be absorbed by the body when healing has finished.
These safety features – and therefore the powerful effect of the bandages – means they might have the potential to be utilized in hospitals.
Dr Habib’s group are going to be taking the bone-bandages into clinical trials following successful experiments on the skulls of mice jusing human cells.
He said: “The newly forming bone is structurally like mature cortical bone and consists of human & murine cells.”
The researchers aim to develop the concept further to spice up healing across the board. Dr Habib added: “The concept of the 3D-engineered tissue and therefore the bandage has the potential to be developed to different injured tissues & organs.”