APR 16, 2017 10:26 AM PDT

Lab-Grown Bones are Becoming a Reality

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Bones are complicated tissues in our bodies. They vary in size and shape, and even density. Thus when patients are stricken with diseases, like congenital deformities, or damage their bones by accidents, it can be exceedingly challenging for doctors to find and 'install' replacement parts. Even so, bone transplants are the second most common transplanted tissues, next to blood. Thus, finding alternatives to donor bone tissues is of great interest.

Earlier last year, a team from the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Glasgow observed that bones normally need some sort of physical stimulation to thrive. Using high frequency vibrations, called 'nanokicks,' the team found they could stimulate stem cells to differentiate into bone cells.

Scientists have also experimented with fat stem cells and a 3-D-printed bone model as a scaffold with similar promising results. Watch the video to learn more about how bones are being grown in the lab for the clinic!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 15, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 15, 2019
Will Banana Crops Survive a Changing Climate?
Climate change impacts, most notably rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, are impacting agricultural production around the world. It&rs...
NOV 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 15, 2019
Hidden Cameras Capture Birds Stealing Shiny Things
It’s no secret that some birds like to collect shiny things. In the case of the humble bowerbird, males often build impressive twig structures and th...
NOV 15, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 15, 2019
Mars 2020 Rover Carries Full Weight on Wheels for First Time
NASA has been working on an advanced successor to the Martian Curiosity rover for quite some time. Dubbed the Mars 2020 rover, the upgraded SUV-sized auton...
NOV 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 15, 2019
Everything You Didn't Know About Hyenas
The humble hyena is often depicted as dim-witted, but as the scientific facts would show, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Despite the negati...
NOV 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 15, 2019
Even Seabirds in Remote Regions Are Impacted by Climate Change
Antarctic albatrosses are one of the world’s most distinguishable seabirds, and if you didn’t already know, they rely on the strong breezes tha...
NOV 15, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 15, 2019
"Sea-thru" Algorithm Clarifies Underwater Photos
Have you ever tried to take photographs underwater, only to be sorely disappointed by the results? Pictures of vivid underwater scenery usually appear very...
Loading Comments...