Stem Cells To Heal Broken Bones!

Fracture of TibiaA team of researchers led by Anna Spagnoli, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has conducted an animal study in which they showed that adult stem cells in combination with a bone generating hormone when transplanted into the animal bodies healed the bone fractures fully which were otherwise not healing.

In this study, it was shown that adult stem cells along with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), a regenerative hormone transformed into bone cells and aided in the repair of the broken bones.

Fractures that do not heal within the standard time line are known as non-union fractures.

A ‘knockout’ mouse that lacks the ability of healing broken bones was used in this study. Adult bone marrow stem cells or mesenchymal stem cells were extracted from the mouse body and were engineered to express IGF-I. These cells were then transplanted into the mouse body with a fracture in the long bone of the leg (tibia).

The results of the transplantation were studied using CT scan and it was found that the mice transplanted with stem cells + IGF-I combination healed properly when compared to the ones that were not treated or that were treated only with stem cells.

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