Researchers Grow 1st Organic Implant for Spine/Disc RepairMarch 9, 2011 0 Comments
Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina have developed a prototype replacement disc by printing an organ scaffold and seeding it with living cells. Their new spinal implant disc closely mimics the basic structure of a real spinal disc.
Currently, the only options for someone suffering chronic back pain from damaged discs would be 1) infuse the bones, which limit movement and risk damaging other discs, or 2) implant a metal or plastic disc which risks infection and has no shock absorption.
Either way, people who suffer chronic back pain injuries may soon find permanent relief in the coming years.
“Compared to the metal and plastic implants used today, an artificial scaffold swathed in living tissue could repair itself…Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina, led by Xuejun Wen, professor of bioengineering and regenerative medicine at Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina, tried to closely mimic the natural architecture of the disc, so that it can perform the same functions as the original.