Patients regrow muscles from pig bladder tissue
Scientists have, for the first time ever, been able to successfully regenerate damaged leg muscles through a new stem cell technique that uses material from pig bladder tissue.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Health tested out the procedure on five men.
The research was sponsored by the US Department of Defense.
The procedure involves surgically implanting a "quilt" of sheets of the cells from connective tissue of a pig's bladder.
The process causes the body to regenerate stem cells at the injury site, which repairs scar tissue and helps the person to regain muscle strength and movement.
"We can take the type of injury that normally would form nothing other than scar tissue and form a brand new skeletal muscle that's functional, that contracts," Dr. Steve Badylak at the University of Pittsburgh's department of surgery, told CBS News.
Over time the transplanted tissue melds with the patient's real muscle tissue, Badylak said.
Pig bladder cells have been used for years to repair damaged and missing tissue of patients.
In the past, doctors have employed the technique to fix hernias and treat skin ulcers. Last year, a surgeon in Delray Beach, Fla., grew a man's missing finger using the material.
The research is published in Science Translational Medicine.
(Posted on 02-05-2014)