Human Bones Grown in the Lab Outside of a Person’s Body

Bones are being grown in a lab by a unique technological process called BonoFill that was developed in the Bonus BioGroup in Haifa, Israel. This amazing technology, which allows bones to grow outside the human body from a patient’s own live bone tissue, was reported in an article in the Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2019. This may be a real breakthrough regarding the future of bone healing and may be a real boon, especially in cases where bone grafts fail and for people suffering from osteoporosis.

New Technique may be able to Help People with Osteoporosis

While bone tissue normally has the ability to regenerate and repair itself, this is usually successful in small fractures. Larger, more complex fractures may need to be held together with the use of metal bars, screws and pins. However, age-related diseases like osteoporosis, which lead to more complex kinds of fractures may be able to be helped by this new breakthrough technique.

BonoFill Needs a Special Kind of Cell from Bone Tissue that can Grow into New Bone

BonoFill needs a special kind of cell from bone tissue that has the ability to grow into new bone. This cell then grows a new bone in the lab and after two weeks this new healthy bone can be planted back into the patient.

Body does not Reject the Implant

According to Dr. Shai Meretzki, this is a very safe procedure as every patient gets his own tissue and cells back. The body does not reject this implant because it is from the patient’s own body. The company can build bones to fill large gaps between bones and also fill in large cavities in bones with thousands of tiny bone particles to fill in the gap. These tiny particles keep growing and within 24 hours they grow bigger and solidify. This procedure is also painless as compared to a transplant where bone is removed from somewhere in the patient’s body and re-planted somewhere else in the body. This new procedure can be completed in about 10 minutes. After two months the bone is alive, healthy and active again. Dr. Meretzki believes this new technology will allow people to live longer and in good health.

Clinical Trials

All of the patients treated so far had suffered from at least three bone graft failures in the past. The company now is starting clinical trials in order to get approval for this new treatment from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (porous bones) is estimated to affect about 200 million people worldwide and is responsible for more than 8.9 million fractures a year. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 54 million Americans and about one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens and thins out bones making them brittle and easy to break. Unfortunately, it is one of the “silent” diseases and many people do not even know they have it until they break a bone. The most common fractures are usually in the hip, spine or wrist. If this is a hip fracture it can be deadly, as hip fractures have a high mortality rate in the first year. Also, the recovery and rehabilitation for a senior with osteoporosis and a hip fracture is very long and expensive. Healing of broken bones takes place very slowly in a senior with osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year more than 300,000 seniors over the age of 65 are hospitalized for hip fractures in the United States. Three quarters of these are women who are more likely to have osteoporosis than men. Hip fractures are a leading cause of disability in seniors and complications from hip fractures can lead to early death. See our blog post from March 21, 2018 about osteoporosis, calcium and Vitamin D.

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Conclusion

This amazing technology may become the main way to deal with complicated bone fractures.

 

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