Friday, April 28, 2006

Beauty Bits – Stem cells better than silicone?

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You’ve probably heard about the problems with saline or silicone implants (rupturing, leaking, interfering with mammograms). And then there is the issue of them not looking natural. Well, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have been investigating the problem and have reportedly come up with a solution. Dr. Jeremy Mao and his team of researchers have discovered that they can create superior implants by using cells from a patient’s own body.

The way it works is they remove a few bone marrow stem cells from your body. Then they grow these cells in a bio-scaffolding (which is just a fancy Petri dish). The scaffolding can be molded to any size or shape and over time the cells multiply and grow to that shape. When the implant is ready (after a few weeks) it is put in the body and will work just like natural breast tissue.

Of course the research is in its early stages and more long term studies will have to be completed. But the researchers are close. Someday, really natural new breasts made from your own cells will be a reality.

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