So far, this summer has seen several advances in stem cell technology, with scientists constructing everything from a rudimentary liver to magnetic targeting mechanisms. Now, a team of researcher in Granada, Spain, has made yet another contribution to the list.

This time, it's a patented biomaterial capable of generating bone tissue from umbilical cord stem cells.

The method, which has yet to be tested in vivo, is intended to improve treatments designed to repair bone or osteochondrial, tumor or traumatic lesions, and to replace lost cartilage in limbs. If successful, the biomaterial could one day be surgically implanted into pathologically frail areas to promote local bone growth.

The scientists note that to this day, artificial bone construction remains a conceptual frontier, and that their patented biomaterial is the first biologically complex approximation of bone tissue to be produced ex vivo.

The biomaterial consists of an activated carbon cloth that provides three-dimensional support for stem cells, making it capable of generating a product in which osteochondrial and mineralized extracellular organic matrix lineage cells exist.

Having obtained the patent, the scientists are confident that their research will be no short of funding as they continue to work towards their final goal: the regeneration of human bones in patients with conditions affecting their osseous system.

The researchers are from the Biomedical Research Center and the Faculties of Sciences of the Universities of Granada and Jaen, and the Spanish National Research Council Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine "Lopes Neyra."


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