New BioPen Applies Stem Cells to Bone and Cartilage Like Writing:
A new advancement in stem cell application has the potential to act like a 3D White Out pen for damaged bone and cartilage. It is called the BioPen. This device allows for cellular material to be deposited into bone and cartilage defects by simply filling in the defect like whiting out a typo.
The BioPen fills in 3D errors by applying its material in layers. The device applies a thin layer of cellular material, such as stem cells, in combination with a protective gel. The biopolymer combination is hardened by UV light, which is emitted from the pen. This allows for the surgeon to apply another layer of bio-gel on top of the hardened layer. Over time, the protective gel will degrade and cause the layers of cellular material to fuse together, allowing for integrated cellular growth and tissue repair.
Orthopedics This Week explains that this technique for applying Stem Cells provides a level of accuracy that has not existed for transplantation of stem cells to an injury site. The article discusses how the BioPen increases surgical precision, allows for customizable cellular implants, and has the potential to decrease a patient’s time in surgery.
Clinical trials are still needed to test the effectiveness of the Biopen, but the technology represents an exciting advancement in stem cell application, and illustrates the regenerative potential of stem cell use in Orthopedics.
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