August 27, 2004 11:42 AM

New Jaw Grown on Patient's Back

The BBC reports on a man who had lost his jaw bone due to cancer. Doctors have grown him a new one:
After taking a 3D computer tomography (CT) scan of the patient's head, they used computer aided design to recreate the missing portion of the jaw-bone (mandible).

The design was used to construct a teflon model, which was then covered with a titanium cage.

The teflon was then removed, and the cage filled with bone mineral blocks, coated with bone marrow and a protein which accelerates bone growth.

They then implanted the scaffolding they had created under a muscle in the man's back, and waited. Bone grew into the scaffolding, which was then transplanted into the man's jaw. The transplant has "taken", and the patient is eating solid food again for the first time in years.

Posted by Perry E. Metzger | Categories: Science & Technology