Fat Derived Stem Cells To Repair Skull Defects After Brain Surgery!
A group of researchers headed by Dr. Tumo Thesleff from Finland’s Tampere University Hospital has succeeded in filling the defects in the skull after a brain surgery with stem cells derived from fat in the abdominal region.
According to this new study abdominal fat extracted stem cells in combination with a bone grafting material could make a great repairing material for skull defects.
This approach was used on the skulls of 4 patients between the age group of 60 and 70 years to repair the defects.
The advantage of fat stem cells is their easy availability and expandability unlike other stem cells (bone marrow, embryonic etc). Moreover, these also exhibit the property of induced differentiation (ability to transform into any other type of cell) just like bone marrow stem cells.
The procedure involved the extraction of stem cells from the fat tissue taken from patients’ abdomens. These were then clubbed with betaTCP, a bone grafting material to restore the defects in the skulls of these 4 patients.
The average size of the skull defects was about 3/2½ inches which was a result of the post-surgery complications.
The skull defects which were filled using the stem cell + betaTCP mixture were evaluated with the help of CT (Computed Tomography) scans taken one week, 3 months and 1 year after the surgery was performed.
The result obtained clearly indicated the formation of new bone in the defective areas of the skull. Bone density of the new bone formed equaled its neighboring bone within a few months.
This procedure has a great significance for patients undergoing surgery of brain due to cancer or some other brain disorders. Usually the resulting skull defects are filled by plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons using patients’ own bone.