Researchers at the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense are developing a new “fracture putty” with the aim of significantly shortening the healing time of bone fractures in humans. According to the researchers, complex fractures can often lead to amputations for U.S. service men and women. The lengthy healing time often associated with these injuries can also prove to be a major burden for the patients and providers.
The research team is using adult stem cells to produce proteins involved in bone healing and generation. They incorporate these proteins into a gel which they have dubbed “fracture putty”. To date the team has demonstrated some positive early results by using the putty to repair fractures in lab rats. After two weeks the rats were observed running around and standing on their hind legs with no evidence of injury. The putty is currently being used in large animal trials, but it may be some time before human testing commences.