Israeli company performs first transplant of lab-grown bones

Bonus BioGroup’s unique approach to bone regeneration uses patients’ own cells to create artificial bone tissue

Vials of fat used in the Bonus BioGroup bone-construction process. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Vials of fat used in the Bonus BioGroup bone-construction process. (photo credit: Courtesy)

An Israeli biomedical company announced that it has for the first time successfully transplanted artificially grown human bone into a group of patients suffering from bone loss.

A statement from Bonus BioGroup on Monday said the semi-liquid graft injected into the jaws of 11 people during the first phase of the clinical trial earlier this year had successfully fused to existing bone and filled gaps in the deteriorating jawbone.

“For the first time anywhere in the world, a quick, and effective and safe bone rehabilitation using a single injection of a living, growing graft transplanted inside a human bone has been completed successfully,” the company said.

Scientists at the Haifa facility manufacture the bone graft tissue using an innovative technique of taking live fat cells from patients by liposuction. After the fat cells are lab cultivated into mature bone cells, the tissue is re-injected into deteriorating bones of patients.

Since the grafts are taken from the patients themselves, the procedures generally prevent the common problem of a transplanted graft being rejected by the body.

Shai Meretzki (photo: Courtesy)
Shai Meretzki (Courtesy)

BioGroup’s breakthrough was presented at the International Conference on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Madrid on Monday.

In 2013, Biogroup CEO Dr. Shai Meretzki predicted to The Times of Israel that his company’s injectable bone grafts would significantly change the way doctors relate to orthopedic problems and bone repairs.

Meretzki at the time said the procedure could also be developed to be used in joint replacements, which could help millions of older people regain their lost freedom of movement.

“Our bone-regeneration methodology is a powerful tool for treating a variety of bone and joint diseases without the risk of tissue rejection and surgery failure, as with current methods of bone replacement and implants,” he said.

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