A handheld ‘bio pen’ developed in the labs of the University of Wollongong (UOW) will allow surgeons to design customised implants on-site and at the time of surgery.

The BioPen, developed by researchers from the UOW-headquartered Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited while also reducing the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage.

The BioPen works similar to 3D printing methods by delivering cell material inside a biopolymer such as alginate, a seaweed extract, protected by a second, outer layer of gel material. The two layers of gel are combined in the pen head as it is extruded onto the bone surface and the surgeon ‘draws’ with the ink to fill in the damaged bone section.

A low powered ultra-violet light source is fixed to the device that solidifies the inks during dispensing, providing protection for the embedded cells while they are built up layer-by-layer to construct a 3D scaffold in the wound site.

Once the cells are ‘drawn’ onto the surgery site they will multiply, become differentiated into nerve cells, muscle cells or bone cells and will eventually turn from individual cells into a thriving community of cells in the form of a functioning a tissue, such as nerves, or a muscle.

The device can also be seeded with growth factors or other drugs to assist regrowth and recovery, while the hand-held design allows for precision in theatre and ease of transportation. 

Read more here.

As Jorge Odón, an argentine car mechanic slept, his mind jumped from a method to retrieve a cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same method could be used on a baby stuck in the birth canal.Mr. Odón, 59, built his first prototype in his kitchen, using a glass jar for a womb, his daughter’s doll for the trapped baby, and a fabric bag and sleeve sewn by his wife as his lifesaving device.
Unlikely as it seems, the idea that took shape on his counter has won the enthusiastic endorsement of the World Health Organization and major donors, and an American medical technology company has just licensed it for production.
With the Odón Device, an attendant slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the head, inflates it to grip the head and pulls the bag until the baby emerges.
Doctors say it has enormous potential to save babies in poor countries, and perhaps to reduce cesarean section births in rich ones.        
Read more here.

As Jorge Odón, an argentine car mechanic slept, his mind jumped from a method to retrieve a cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same method could be used on a baby stuck in the birth canal.

Mr. Odón, 59, built his first prototype in his kitchen, using a glass jar for a womb, his daughter’s doll for the trapped baby, and a fabric bag and sleeve sewn by his wife as his lifesaving device.

Unlikely as it seems, the idea that took shape on his counter has won the enthusiastic endorsement of the World Health Organization and major donors, and an American medical technology company has just licensed it for production.

With the Odón Device, an attendant slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the head, inflates it to grip the head and pulls the bag until the baby emerges.

Doctors say it has enormous potential to save babies in poor countries, and perhaps to reduce cesarean section births in rich ones.        


Read more here.

A 17-year-old girl from southeast China’s Fujian Province has received a face transplant that was grown on her chest.

Xu Jianmei, a resident of a small fishing village, was severely disfigured in a fire that occurred when she was five years old. She lost her chin, eyelids, and a large part of her right ear.

She was not able to receive treatment during the optimal treatment time, as her family could not afford it.

But last year, the chance to get a new face came to her after doctors boldly proposed growing a new face on her chest using tissue grafted from her leg.

A Chinese transplant team in Fujian province built her new face using a blood vessel from her leg and a water-filled balloon to expand her skin.

It then took several months to grow the skin until it was large enough to cover her missing facial features.

More: here.

Doctor’s grow nose on the forehead of 22 year-old man. The patient suffered a severe nasal trauma in a serious car accident in August 2012.Doctors weren’t able to repair it, but decided to take cartilage from one of the young man’s ribs to grown a new nose. The nose, which is temporarily attached to his forehead, has been developing for 9 months and is ready to be transplanted. This is the first time such procedure takes place.Read more here.

Doctor’s grow nose on the forehead of 22 year-old man. The patient suffered a severe nasal trauma in a serious car accident in August 2012.

Doctors weren’t able to repair it, but decided to take cartilage from one of the young man’s ribs to grown a new nose. The nose, which is temporarily attached to his forehead, has been developing for 9 months and is ready to be transplanted. This is the first time such procedure takes place.

Read more here.

artofhealing
mediclopedia:

Brain Stem Implant 
Three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born without cochlear nerves in both ears—total deafness. A cochlear implant was unsuccessful. But thanks to breakthrough research at the UNC School of Medicine, Grayson now has an auditory brain stem implant that allows him to hear.
For many people born with hearing loss, the problem lies in the inner ear, or cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ deep in the temporal bone. When this is the case, a cochlear implant can mimic how a normal cochlea functions. UNC is home to one of the largest pediatric cochlear implant programs in the country, and gives the ability to hear to over 100 children each year.
But rather than missing the thousands of microscopic sensory cells in his cochlea, Grayson was missing the nerve that connects the cochlea to the brain. After working with the pediatric cochlear implant team at UNC for two years, Grayson was identified as a good candidate for a clinical trial of an auditory brain stem implant (ABI) at UNC Hospitals.

mediclopedia:

Brain Stem Implant 

Three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born without cochlear nerves in both ears—total deafness. A cochlear implant was unsuccessful. But thanks to breakthrough research at the UNC School of Medicine, Grayson now has an auditory brain stem implant that allows him to hear.

For many people born with hearing loss, the problem lies in the inner ear, or cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ deep in the temporal bone. When this is the case, a cochlear implant can mimic how a normal cochlea functions. UNC is home to one of the largest pediatric cochlear implant programs in the country, and gives the ability to hear to over 100 children each year.

But rather than missing the thousands of microscopic sensory cells in his cochlea, Grayson was missing the nerve that connects the cochlea to the brain. After working with the pediatric cochlear implant team at UNC for two years, Grayson was identified as a good candidate for a clinical trial of an auditory brain stem implant (ABI) at UNC Hospitals.

fuckyeahneuroscience
fuckyeahneuroscience:

Mini human ‘brains’ grown in lab for first time | New Scientist

Why rely on mouse brains to help us understand our most complex organ when you can grow a model of a human one? Tiny “brains” that include parts of the cortex, hippocampus and even retinas, have been made for the first time using stem cells. The 3D tissue structures will let researchers study the early stages of human brain development in unprecedented detail.
Because human brains are so different from those of most animals, looking at how animal brains develop only gives us a crude understanding of the process in humans. “Mouse models don’t cut it,” saysJuergen Knoblich at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Vienna, Austria.
To grow their miniature brains, Knoblich and colleagues took induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – adult cells reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells – and gave them a mix of nutrients thought to be essential for brain development. The stem cells first differentiated into neuroectoderm tissue, the layer of cells that would eventually become an embryo’s nervous system. The tissue was suspended in a gel scaffold to help it develop a 3D structure.
In less than a month, the stem cells grew into brain-like “organoids” 3 to 4 millimetres across and containing structures that corresponded to most of the regions of the brain. For example, all the organoids they made appeared to contain parts of the cortex, about 70 per cent contained a choroid plexus – which produces spinal fluid – and about 10 per cent contained retinal tissue.
"If you provide the right nutrients, they have amazing capacity to self-organise," says team member Madeline Lancaster, also at the IMB.
However, one brain region that wasn’t present was the cerebellum, the part of the brain that handles motor skills and language, among other functions. This isn’t surprising, says Lancaster, since this region develops later than the others.
Using imaging techniques, the researchers were even able to detect neural activity (see video, above), although this doesn’t mean the brain is conscious in anyway.

Original paper here, for those with access. 

fuckyeahneuroscience:

Mini human ‘brains’ grown in lab for first time | New Scientist

Why rely on mouse brains to help us understand our most complex organ when you can grow a model of a human one? Tiny “brains” that include parts of the cortex, hippocampus and even retinas, have been made for the first time using stem cells. The 3D tissue structures will let researchers study the early stages of human brain development in unprecedented detail.

Because human brains are so different from those of most animals, looking at how animal brains develop only gives us a crude understanding of the process in humans. “Mouse models don’t cut it,” saysJuergen Knoblich at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Vienna, Austria.

To grow their miniature brains, Knoblich and colleagues took induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – adult cells reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells – and gave them a mix of nutrients thought to be essential for brain development. The stem cells first differentiated into neuroectoderm tissue, the layer of cells that would eventually become an embryo’s nervous system. The tissue was suspended in a gel scaffold to help it develop a 3D structure.

In less than a month, the stem cells grew into brain-like “organoids” 3 to 4 millimetres across and containing structures that corresponded to most of the regions of the brain. For example, all the organoids they made appeared to contain parts of the cortex, about 70 per cent contained a choroid plexus – which produces spinal fluid – and about 10 per cent contained retinal tissue.

"If you provide the right nutrients, they have amazing capacity to self-organise," says team member Madeline Lancaster, also at the IMB.

However, one brain region that wasn’t present was the cerebellum, the part of the brain that handles motor skills and language, among other functions. This isn’t surprising, says Lancaster, since this region develops later than the others.

Using imaging techniques, the researchers were even able to detect neural activity (see video, above), although this doesn’t mean the brain is conscious in anyway.

Original paper here, for those with access.