A 65 year old man in Finland had his upper jaw removed due to a benign tumor and could not eat or speak without inserting a removable prosthesis. Scientists successfully created a new jaw bone by using adult stem cells from the patient. First scientists isolated stem cells from the patient's fat tissue and grew them in the lab for two weeks in a “nutritious soup” especially formulated for growth. They attached the stem cells to a scaffold made out of calcium phosphate and placed it inside the patient's abdomen where it grew for nine months. The stem cells differentiated into all the various tissues necessary, including blood vessels. The scientists removed the newly built jawbone from the patient's abdomen and transplanted it into the patient's head with screws and surgically connected the blood vessels. Riitta Suuronen, University of Tampere, Finland reported that the patient recovered quicker than if he had a bone graft taken from his own leg.
For more information, click here.