Filling bone defects – replacement tissue with its own blood supply

Interview with Prof. Raymund Horch, Head of the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery University Hospital Erlangen

First grow tissue in the lab, then insert it into patients when they need it and you’re done! Unfortunately, things are not as easy as people hoped at the onset of “tissue engineering”. Although robust tissues for bone defects can be grown in a petri dish, for example, they unfortunately quickly die off again inside the body if there is no corresponding nutrient supply.


Foto: Prof. Raymund Horch

Prof. Raymund Horch; © privat

Graphic of the operation

A patient’s bone marrow stem cells and bone replacement material are inserted into the defect with fibrin glue. Tiny blood vessels are able to sprout and repair the defect using the matrix; © private

Photo: Simone Ernst; Copyright: B. Frommann

© B. Frommann