Friday, May 1, 2009

Inject New Bones Into Your Body, Just Like Wolverine

You can't get an indestructible adamantium skeleton, but a new surgical technique can help you fix broken bones with just one shot. That's right: You can get a bone graft injected via syringe.

When you see Logan getting adamantium injected into his bones via giant scary syringes in Wolverine tonight, it may seem like pure science fiction. But it's not. Johnson & Johnson has just announced a new bone graft material called HEALOS Fx, which doctors can mix up into a soft, moldable state and then inject using a hollow needle. The HEALOS Fx forms a scaffolding material where new bone cells can grow, eventually knitting the break together.

From a release about the treatment:

The new HEALOS Fx is a bone graft option for precise placement into difficult-to-reach surgical sites, particularly around pedicle screws and the interbody space, said Kornelis Poelstra, M.D., Ph.D., University of Maryland Shock Trauma, Baltimore. HEALOS Fx, which has a cohesive consistency when saturated with the patient's bone marrow, provides both a continuous scaffold for bone formation and the osteoprogenitor cells needed to initiate new bone growth. The material is reabsorbed and remodeled into new bone as part of the healing process.

Apparently the material hardens enough to become a graft in less than a minute after injection. I quail at the idea of recreational uses for this technology. But I will note that it does seem perfect for growing little horns on your forehead, or spurs on your arms.

[io9 via Medgadget]

4 comments: said...

I give anesthesia for patients who get this procedure. It's called a kyphoplasty, and it's done on folks who are about as different from Wolverine as you can get. They're usually about 100 yrs old and very frail.

Malcolm said...

Maybe we just need to invent adamantium then.

Nelson said...

They just need his super healing ability and they're all good!!!

Anonymous said...

I actually had this done 9along with titanium to fix my L5/S1 vertebrae.

I'm one of them now...

We will not stop. Not ever.

You will soil tour undergarments!

Coming soon to a theatre near you. lol