Medical science is constantly evolving to treat or cure more effective ways of different diseases that afflict humans.
Occasionally, injuries resulting from a fracture do not heal only with surgery or with therapies. Due to its severity, it is necessary to implant a bone graft. To obtain this graft in the traditional way it was necessary to remove a small part of another bone from the patient’s body.
In addition to that option, there is a slightly less orthodox one, which consists in extracting the requested part of the bone from the body of a corpse.
In both there is a risk of rejection or that the bone used as an implant causes an infection.
About 900,000 Americans are surgically operated to correct a problem related to their bones.
Fortunately, there is a startup that seeks to eliminate the need to find a donor or remove a part of a patient’s bone.
Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of this company called EpiBone, the first company in the world that cultivates live human bones for surgical reconstruction.
Tandon began his study of human tissues while studying biomedicine at Columbia University. He began by studying the structure of the heart to understand each of the delicate layers of tissue that cover it.
The team of researchers and doctors of EpiBone, led by Nina Tandon, perform a thorough procedure for each of their grafts: first, they take a CT scan to determine the exact size and shape of the bone that the patient needs to later print it in 3D. At the same time, they extract stem cells from the patient’s abdominal fat.
Next, they create a precise model of the necessary bone and design a custom bioreactor that will incubate the new bone as it grows. For its development, they nourish it with the stem cells so that they multiply and become bone cells.
Tandon told Business Insider that the bioreactor is “like an elegant fishbowl, which gives cells all the necessary nutrients to make a perfect producer, a live implant in three or four weeks.”
Finally, the bioreactor is responsible for remodeling the graft so that it is ready for implantation.
The Bioreactor is essential for EpiBone, it is the result of 20 years of research and its main task is to mimic the conditions of the human body so that bone cells can develop in the best way.
Tandon explains to Business Insider that its technology could be implemented in people in approximately 5 or up to 10 years.