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Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from Own Stem Cells

Stem cellsScientists in Finland said they had replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.

In this case they identified and pulled out cells called mesenchymal stem cells -- immature cells than can give rise to bone, muscle or blood vessels.

When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient's abdomen to grow for nine months. The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said.

The block was later transplanted into the patient's head and connected to the skull bone using screws and microsurgery to connect arteries and veins to the vessels of the neck.

Researchers said on Friday the breakthrough opened up new ways to treat severe tissue damage and made the prospect of custom-made living spares parts for humans a step closer to reality.

Source: Reuters
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