British researchers have developed a technique through which they can reconstruct people ' s faces with stem cells taken from their fat.
A team of doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London has grown cartilage in the laboratory from a tiny sample of fat taken from the child and stem cells, according to the research published in the journalNanomedicine. According to the newly developed technique, an ear-shaped scaffold is put in the stem cell broth, and then the cells would grow in form of the desired shape and structure. The grown shape thereafter could be implanted beneath the skin to give the child an ear shape. Based on the current technique, the needed cartilage is taken from the child’s ribs by doing surgery and then it is sculpted by surgeons to resemble an ear and implanted into the child. The way needs several operations with permanent scarring on the chest. Moreover, the removed rib cartilage never recovers. "It is really exciting to have the sort of cells that are not tumourogenic, that can go back into the same patient so we don't have the problem of immunosuppression and can do the job you want them to do," said one of the researchers, Dr Patrizia Ferretti. The new technique could be applied for creating cartilage for other parts of face such as the nose. "Obviously we are at the beginning of this, the next step will be to perfect just the choice of materials and to develop this further," Dr Ferretti also noted. The fat-based technique requires more safety testing and analysis before their usage in patients, researchers say.