Scientists in the British community discovered a way to rebuild ears and noses using stem cells from body fat on 4 March 2014.
Scientists from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and University College London discovered a way to use abdominal body fat and turn it into cartilage. The grown cartilage could be used to rebuild ears and noses.
The discovery was published in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine.
Under the new technique, the scientists will insert an ear-shaped nano-scaffold into a stem cell concoction, in order for the cells to duplicate the proper shape and structure.
Once shaping the ear or nose by hand, the surgeons then place the scaffold under the patient skin. The skin will then form itself around the mold and, if using a biodegradable polymer mold, it would simply dissolve after a period of time, leaving only human cartilage.
Though it would not aid in actually hearing it will be biologically the same as an ear or nose. Currently, doctors have to remove the cartridge from other parts of the body, such as the ribs.
The removal of cartilage from the ribs took as a major additional surgical procedure as it creates a permanent defect. This is due to the fact that cartilage on the ribs does not grow back.
The new discovery will help those suffering from abnormalities at birth, victims of accidents that need reconstructive surgery, and people born with a condition that cause the outer ear to be undeveloped, called microtia.
The procedure could also benefit many types of organ transplant operations. It may lower the risk of a body rejecting the new organ it has received. The new operation could help the body accept the new tissue easier, improve stability and functionality and aid in the basic integration of the new organ.
When: 4 March 2014