JERUSALEM, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have developed a new stem cell technology that helps bone fractures heal quickly.
The technology that involves isolation of the stem cells from bone marrow was developed by Drs. Zulma Gazit and Gadi Pelled, along with Professor Dan Gazit at the university's Skeletal Biotechnology Laboratory. The scientists say their technology has been successfully used to treat complicated fractures in seven patients at the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.
Currently, the standard treatment for severe bone loss involves either amputation or a prolonged period of disability. The scientists said their new technology, called immuno-isolation, sorts mesenchymal stem cells from other cells residing in a bone marrow sample, using a specific antibody. The immuno-isolated cells then can be immediately used to form new bone tissue when implanted in laboratory animals, without a prolonged incubator growth period.
The researchers said they expect the technique will eventually extend to treating other skeletal injuries, such as degenerated intervertebral discs or torn tendons.
The study was reported in the journal Stem Cells.