Tissue Engineering the Breast

From the BBC: "Researchers in Australia plan to test a medical 'scaffold' designed to stimulate natural breast tissue to regrow following surgery. Doctors [will] test the technique next year in a trial involving six patients. The team say that the permanent fat found in breasts can be grown inside this contoured scaffold. They claim to have successfully tested the device in pigs. ... when the 'empty chamber' is implanted, fat tissue will naturally fill it to form a new breast. This chamber will also contain a gel made using the patients' muscle cells to 'induce fat tissue production'. ... the attractions of this approach were its simplicity and the fact that the tissue growth occurred inside the body. ... At the time of implanting the cells the surgeon redirects the vasculature of the body which keeps a good blood supply to the implant. That is in itself nothing new, but combining it with a cell implant is an interesting step. ... the technological advance was the use of a biomaterial cage used to trap the cells in the right place. In future, the team plan to make this cage biodegradable so it does not have to be removed."

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8357195.stm

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