Promising Results for Lab-Grown Cartilage
Nasal cartilage is notoriously hard to replace once it has been lost or damaged. Although existing treatments borrow tissue from other parts of the body, a new technique gained some renown recently when scientists announced that laboratory-grown cartilage had been successfully implanted in several patients.
Each of them had lost significant cartilage due to skin cancer, making them prime candidates for an experimental approach:
In this study, the team took a biopsy of the septum, isolated the “chondrocytes” (cartilage cells) and then cultured them. Once there were more cells, they were seeded onto a collagen membrane and then cultured for two more weeks. This generated 40 times more cartilage cells than were in the original biopsy. These grafts could then be sculpted in order to fit the damaged part of the nostril and then implanted.
Although the data set was small, the results were exceptionally good: All five patients were reported that they were pleased with their breathing ability and cosmetic appearance after the surgery.
This is just one of many coming advances in the artificial synthesis of biologicals, from tissues and teeth to entire organs. To learn more about the latest advances in sinus surgery, call my offices today.