Adult Stem Cells and Fracture Putty

Great news via Glenn Reynolds, who does a great job of keeping us all informed on successful therapies related to stem cells. This time, it’s Fracture Putty:

Broken bones can mean weeks of having to wear a cast and the muscle atrophy that comes with that. More severe breaks can take months to mend, result in restricted movement, or in the worst cases the possible loss of a limb. There’s also the chance of re-fracture due to the amount of time some breaks take to heal if a patient isn’t extremely careful.

Speeding up the time it takes to heal a broken bone is highly desirable, and a solution may be on the horizon. Research being carried out at the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center has helped create a new gel being referred to as Fracture Putty. It’s major benefit to those suffering broken bones is its ability to heal them in just a few days, or in the case of severe breaks, cut the healing time to weeks instead of months.

Fracture Putty has yet to be tested on humans, but it has already been proven to work in animals. The putty takes the form of a gel that gets injected into the broken bones. It then goes to work rapidly generating bone much faster than a body can achieve on its own.

Pretty cool. UGA today writes:

To start the bone regeneration process, the RBC used adult stem cells that produce a protein involved in bone healing and generation. They then incorporated them into a gel, combining the healing properties into something Stice calls “fracture putty.”

With Peroni’s assistance, the Houston-based team used a stabilizing device and inserted putty into fractures in rats. Video of the healed animals at two weeks shows the rats running around and standing on their hind legs with no evidence of injury. The RBC researchers are testing the material in pigs and sheep, too.

“The small-animal work has progressed, and we are making good progress in large animals,” he said.

More work is needed to get to human medical trials, but the threat of losing federal funding for biomedical work through the DOD means they will have to find new ways to fund the project.

People who are accustomed to taking their cues from the mainstream media, or Comedy Central or Democrats would probably be surprised to learn that the Catholic Church helps to fund Adult Stem Cell Research and supports the development of healing therapies using them.

Because you know…Christians hate science; isn’t that the narrative? It is a narrative as demonstrably inaccurate as the new meme that’s being framed up by the press and the Democrats: that a majority of Catholics support the HHS Mandate (um, no, they don’t), and that the mandate is “only about contraception.”.

No. It ain’t.

Yeah, I’m in a bad mood today. But this stem cell news makes me feel better!


Glenn Reynolds links back! Thanks, Glenn!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • kenneth

    It is pretty damn interesting work. They could probably do some good with things like osteoarthritis too. Mesenchymal cells can also differentiate into cartilage. As promising as it sounds, I suspect there will be some limitations in how fast we can get people “up and around” after a fracture. Fast growth would stabilize breaks and save some limbs that would otherwise be lost, but regaining full strength in the bone requires some time for bone remodeling and hardening. Still very cool.

  • Mark

    And all of this without killing human life? How can that be? The only good science it seems from the left point of view mandates the destruction of human life. And meanwhile, the good news on use of stem cell research without killing embryo’s continues to march forward.

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  • Steve Kellmeyer

    I love the “Christianity hates science” meme.
    There’s some good posters that show how Christians actually created various sciences at

    Amazing the damage Andrew Dickson White’s book did. It’s only a century old, but it created such a pervasive false history. Only Dan Brown rivals him.

  • Ruth H

    In May my identical twin sister underwent spinal surgery to stabilize and clear her spinal cord from being pinched. They used a matrix with a mix of her stem cells for the stabilizing instead of using any device. She has done extremely well. On Feb 2 I underwent the decompression surgery she did, but my spine did not need to be stabilized. I was in the hospital for 2 nights. I have done so extremely well it is amazing, I have not taken anything more than tylenol for pain. The pain was so bad before, this is bearable, especially when I know in six months I will be so much better.
    I cannot update you on my cousin as I have not heard from them. Thank you for your prayers.

  • DeRigeur

    I would urge caution on these results. Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) is being questioned in spine fusion cases. It seems that the manufacturing did not publish complications in operations with its use. The lead investigator was totally in bed financially with the manufacturer. Here are bullet points from a recent article showing despite increased use, vastly increased costs, re-operation was not reduced:

    • Use of BMP increased rapidly from 5.5 percent in 2003 to 28.1 percent in 2008.
    • BMP use was greater among patients with previous surgery and among those having complex fusion procedures.
    • Major medical complications, wound complications and 30-day rehospitalization rates were nearly identical with or without BMP. Reoperation rates were also very similar.
    • Adjusted hospital charges for operations involving BMP were $15,000 more than hospital charges for fusions without BMP.
    • Medicare’s Diagnosis-Related Group reported reimbursing only an average of $850 more for fusions with BMP than without it.

    I like your blog and I hope that you feel better (May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.),

    A Christian Physician