Researchers at the Regea Institute of Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Tampere, Finland have successfully replaced a 65-year-old patient`s upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen. Stem cells were isolated from the patient`s fat and grew for two weeks in a specially formulated nutritious soup that included the patient`s own blood serum. When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient`s abdomen to grow for nine months. The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said. The block was later transplanted into the patient`s head and connected to the skull bone using screws and microsurgery to connect arteries and veins to the vessels of the neck. The patient`s upper jaw had previously been removed due to a benign tumor and he was unable to eat or speak without the use of a removable prosthesis.
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