Univ. of Michigan Technology + Your DNA = New Body Parts

It feels really good when your university does something great. It feels even greater when that something is related to your professional field and has the potential of altering the lives of people for good. In this case, the university i attended for my MBA, University of Michigan, informed me of the following news through their Alumni stay-in-touch email. It was so awesome that i decided to re-share it with the world.

“Need new knees, new hips or a new jaw? What if an exact replica could be created using a CT or MRI scan of your own anatomy combined with your own DNA? U-M biomedical engineers and surgeons have developed a method to recreate bone and other tissue lost from age-related causes, cancer or traumatic injuries.

Using completely biodegradable scaffolding, designed and manufactured into a customized shape using patient imaging and laser-based systems, researchers can replicate any part of the human skeleton. The scaffolding is filled with a patient’s own DNA, along with growth factors and other biocompatible compounds, and is then implanted into the patient. Over time, new bone and blood vessels develop within the scaffolding, creating an exact copy of the missing part. The scaffolding biodegrades and dissolves as waste in the body.

U-M biomedical engineer Dr. Scott Hollister and U-M oral/maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Sean Edwards will discuss this revolutionary tissue engineering technique and its implication for the future of reconstructive medicine. Drs. Hollister and Edwards will provide an overview of their current research, applying this technique to recreate a functioning jaw. They’ll share preliminary results of this work, will have examples of the scaffolding material available to see firsthand, and will explore its application to other areas of orthopedic surgery, spine surgery and organ transplantation. To learn more about Dr. Hollister’s research, watch this video.”


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