By injecting a patient’s own bone growing cells, called osteoblasts, Korean scientists from Catholic University College of Medicine in Seoul were able to speed up the rate of healing. The osteoblasts were harvested from the marrow of the pelvic bone of patients during fracture surgery. Prior to injection they were grown in number in a lab for 24 hours.
Here’s the abstract from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders:
Background We performed a multicenter, open, randomized, clinical study of autologous cultured osteoblast injection for long-bone fracture, to evaluate the fracture healing acceleration effect and the safety of autologous cultured osteoblasts.
Methods Sixty-four patients with long-bone fractures were randomly divided into two groups, i.e. those who received autologous cultured osteoblast injection and those who received no treatment. The sum of the difference in the callus formation scores after four and eight weeks, was used as the first efficacy variable.
Results The autologous cultured osteoblast injection group showed fracture healing acceleration of statistical significance, and there were no specific patient complications when using this treatment.
Conclusion Autologous cultured osteoblast injection should therefore be considered as a successful treatment option for treating long-bone fracture.
Abstract in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders…
Image: Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a fracture through a region of new bone, showing the layered construction. Wellcome Images