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EpiBone Uses 3D Technology to Grow Human Bones Outside the Body

by • February 7, 2016 • No Comments

epiboneThe human body has awe-inspiring capacities for repairing itself, but it’s far of perfect; a few injuries or deformities are too much for the body itself to manufacture whole. For ages, that is been accepted as a fact of life, but as innovation develops, there are fewer and fewer unfixable things that can befall a man. In the nineteenth
century, it may have seemed inconceivable that bacterial infections may one day be killed off with a easy pill, but antibiotics may be arriving soon. Currently, most folks may say that expanding real human body parts is not easy, but we are starting to learn that that is not the case.

Nina Tandon has been expanding human tissue since her days as a biomedical engineering student at Columbia University. She began experimenting with cardiac and skin tissue, and so moved on to one of the trickiest types of organic material – bone. Tandon is the co-founder and CEO of EpiBone, a startup that has found a way to literally grow human bones.


Repairing damaged bones is painful and challenging, as anyone who’s at any time broken a bone can understand. It gets in fact extra
rigorous when bone is in fact missing due to disease or congenital deformity, or when a bone is broken so sat any timeely that it can’t fuse itself back together without extra
assist. Bone grafts are painful, unpredictable and carry a host of future complications, so they’ve been a significant focus for the medical industry lately. With 3D printing and other innovation sweeping in to fix in fact the most challenging medical issues, bone grafts are a priority, and we’ve seen most researchers take on the issue with an informative variety of approaches.

finished-epiboneWhat most of those approaches have in common, yet, is 3D innovation. Some organizations are printing synthetic bone grafts with biocompatible materials like ceramics; others are via animal bones as a base for regenerating human bones. EpiBone falls into the 2nd category, but what manufactures the company particularly informative is that their system uses a patient’s own cells to grow new bones outside the body.

EpiBone’s technique is amazingly easy. A CT scan is taken of the patient’s damaged bone, and a 3D version is made. That 3D version is utilized to CNC mill an animal – usually cow – bone into the precise shape of the graft that requires to be implanted into the patient. So, fat cells are taken of the patient, and stem cells of the fat are isolated. (Stem cells of fat are capable of expanding into most other various forms of tissue, that manufactures them perfect for this system.) Those stem cells are placed into a bioreactor with the milled animal bone; the thought is that they can grow around the bone, fundamentally engulfing it – when the bioreactor is opened, a new bone comprised of the patient’s own cells can be eager for implant. Once it’s implanted, it continues to grow and merge with the bone around it.


Of course, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds – conditions have to be carefully engineered and monitored for the cells to grow in the way that they require to. EpiBone is already testing the procedure by expanding cheekbones for pigs, and human trials may futurely start in a few years, but there’s yet a lot of work to be done. Ultimately, the team at EpiBone wants to try expanding larger and extra
rigorous bones, as well. Check out the video at a lower place for a close-up appear at the system. Discuss this new innovation in the EpiBone 3D Printed Bone forum over at 3DPB.com.