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Technique promotes new bone

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2008 - Spring


A novel technique—removing bone marrow and injecting a hormone—promotes rapid formation of new bone in rats, Yale researchers reported in February in the journal Tissue Engineering.

“This could radically change the way patients are currently treated for weakened or fractured hips, vertebrae and acute traumatic long-bone fractures,” said senior author Agnès M. Vignery, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation. Existing therapy, which involves surgery and artificial materials, often leads to unsatisfactory outcomes.

Researchers removed bone marrow from thigh bones in mice and then gave them daily injections of bone anabolic agents like parathyroid hormone (PTH). The procedure creates new bone tissue that appears structurally and biologically normal, and endows the targeted bone with improved biomechanical properties at a rate that can’t be achieved by injecting hormones alone, Vignery said.

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