Artificial bone marrow could make transplants safer

Scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher, have developed artificial bone tissues that could provide new bone marrow for patients needing transplants and make the procedure much safer.

Bone marrow

  • Bone marrow is the flexible tissue in the interior of bones.
  • In humans, red blood cells are produced by cores of bone marrow in the heads of long bones in a process known as hematopoiesis.
  • Bone marrow transplants can be conducted to treat severe diseases of the bone marrow, including certain forms of cancer such as leukemia.

About Research

  • Bone marrow transplants are used to treat patients with bone marrow disease.
  • Developed bone tissues with functional bone marrow that can be filled with donor cells and implanted under the skin of mice.
  • The structures matured into bone tissues that have a working blood vessel network and a bone marrow inside that supplies new blood cells.
  • Donor cells survived for at least six months and supplied the mice with new blood cells.

Importance of Artificial Bone Marrow

Before a transplant, a patient is first given doses of radiation to kill off any existing stem cells in the patient’s bone marrow. Pre-treatment is meant to improve success of the transplant by clearing up space in the marrow. It will allow donor cells to survive and grow without competition from the patient’s own cells. This treatment often comes with harmful side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, loss of fertility and others. To address these issues, researchers developed a bone-like implant that gives donor cells their own space to live and grow without competition, eliminating the need to wipe out the host’s pre-existing cells.


Source : The Hindu

GS III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

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