Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Department of Defense Partners with McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine

The organizations are partnering to support treatments for battlefield injuries.

The two-year, $12 million dollar contract will push forward human trials for three research programs that will place healthy tissue in place of damaged tissue.
One program will replace muscle tissue with one’s own stem cells and to evaluate the injection of human connective tissue cells into contracted burn scars to allow greater freedom of movement.

Dr. Bernard J. Costello is Chief of Craniofacial and Cleft Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine. He will be examining the effectiveness of a material to facilitate new bone formation in cranio-facial defects using a calcium phosphate cement. He showed an audience at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall how it would work on Tuesday.

Costello says it’s an upgrade of technology that’s already FDA approved. It will be custom-tailored regenerative material that will turn into the patients own tissue.
"We can then get away from bone and soft tissue substitutes but really turn into designer materials that are regenerative, not replacement so we can get away from the carpentry of surgery and really get into the next stage of designing specific tissues that are for those types of problems," he said.

Eighty patients will be seen during the trials. 40 will be in Pittsburgh, the remaining at other locations. At least half of them will be soldiers.

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