The substitution of bones was done by the surgeons using different types of metals, plastic, etc and the procedure had the possibility of rejection of the transplant by the body. All these initiated the development of a better approach for bone repair and substitution, in which stem cells showed great promise. Recent most study has showed one of the greatest challenges met by the stem cells in growing bones. Stem cells were used to grow back the facial bones in a boy with no cheekbones. Due to the use of stem cells in growing back bones, the possibility of rejection due to a transplant was automatically removed, which helped to a great extent.
The transplant of a bone from another part of a person’s body to the site where bones need to be replaced was not very efficient in form and function. Moreover, it still faced the possibility of rejection. Hence, the use of stem cells to regenerate bones found application. Due to the formation of functional bone cells from the stem cells and thus the formation of a bone with proper function in the target site proved the importance and use of stem cells in successful bone repair and regeneration.
The stem cells used for the replacement of bones and also for growing bones were mainly extracted from the fat cells or the adipose tissue of the affected individual. Hence, this removed the necessity of donors for the transplants. The use of stem cells isolated from the fat of the affected individual also removes the possibility of any sort of immunological reaction against the stem cells as the body recognises them as its own. In most of the treatments, the immunological reaction causes hindrance, which is avoided in this case of stem cell treatment. Fat or adipose tissues are mainly selected for the purpose of stem cell isolation, as it is completely accessible besides being far more convenient, cheaper, as well as less painful for the patient. The procedure of stem cell isolation from other areas within the patient body is very much painful and time consuming. Even the recovery of the patient after the isolation procedure takes long time thereby delaying the application of the isolated stem cells. Previously, the introduction of the isolated stem cells within the body was done directly to the target site of injury, which indicated the movement of the stem cells throughout the body. This movement lead to the failure of the procedure. Hence, the isolated stem cells were then introduced within the body using a gel like substance that helped in localising the stem cells in the bone injury site thus helping in the repair of the bones by healing them.
The use of stem cells in the regeneration of bones was seen in a study involving a teenaged boy, who suffered from a rare type of inborn genetic defect, in which he had no cheekbones in his face. Replacement of cheekbones became necessary not just to improve appearance, which was a minor requirement but mainly to restore the important functions of the cheekbones such as protection of the eyes. The procedure proved successful with the regeneration of the facial bones with the stem cells extracted from the adipose tissue. Although, the procedure proved successful, the scientists have some doubt regarding the practical applicability of this procedure in all types of patients. The young age of the boy was one of the important factors that lead to the success of the procedure due to better ability of regeneration and healing at young age. The application of the procedure in an elderly individual may not meet with same success as in this case. Moreover, the functionality of the bones regenerated even after five years of the procedure need to be analysed to assess the effectiveness of the procedure entirely. Hence, in-depth research regarding the procedure is essential before it can be used for the practical application in bone repair and regeneration.