Human Tissue and Organ Repair Using Extracellular Matrix Pig Powder
Pig Powder to the Rescue
Stem cell medical treatments for organ and tissue replacement developed in the 2000s to avoid the use of cells from
- Cloned human fetuses
- Test tube grown embryos
- Stem cells taken from miscarried or aborted fetuses
New and more morally palatable techniques of cell extraction have also used cells from a patient's own bone marrow, along with stem cells from skin and other parts of the body. However, bone marrow cells seemed most promising until pig cells broke onto the medical scene.
The pig cell type of treatment has developed a fan following since 2011 after televised documentaries featured the use of powdered pig bladders and intestines for growing new human tissues, including an esophagus.
Simply explained, a biodegradable matrix representing a human tissue or organ is built and placed into a patient at the point of need. Then it is covered with the powdered pig cells during a simple surgical procedure. The matrix dissolves away as the new tissue or organ becomes fully grown within the human body.
This is almost as simple as taking a pill to grow a kidney, as shown in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Advantages of Pig Powder Regeneration
Advanced age in a patient is not a drawback to this powdered pig treatment, shown in one of the first news documentaries of this procedure: A new organ was grown in a 76-year-old man that needed a new esophagus, because his had been destroyed by cancer and surgeries. He grew this new body part, while the entire procedure, recovery, and aftermath were successful.
Heart disease and diabetes types I and II are conditions that can be treated with pixie dust and similar techniques and materials, but the treatments have not been widely available.
Donor-organ transplants and organ regeneration within a body or for transplantation are at odds, business-wise. The former stands to become a big business and the latter may lure away patients into less invasive procedures, particularly because they do not involve organ and tissue rejection. The advantages of regeneration include cost savings and speed of recovery. Thus, organ transplantation may one day become obsolete.
A New Finger in Just Four Weeks
In the accompanying video, we see how fingers can be regrown quickly, almost as if by magic. Elsewhere, talented doctors regrow missing fingertips using pig bladder powder.
Pig powder may be the magic bullet for regeneration of injured and missing body parts from about AD2020 onwards.
Wounded Warriors Restored by Pig Powder
Nicknamed "Pixie Dust", pig bladder powder has been used successfully in restoring tissues in mangled limbs of US and British soldiers in Afghanistan. If not for the magic dust, their limbs would have been amputated.
Pig intestines and bladders contain extracellular matrix, which is mostly collagen. This simple substance saved the arms of legs of many soldiers afflicted by roadside bombs.
It was so quick that you could almost see it growing and filling the hole where I was blasted. ...The Extra Cellular membrane had not only made muscle but also built nerves. I could feel my limb tingling as the new tissues grew.— A soldier with a mangled leg treated with pixie dust.
Could this first described by Alfred Pischinger in 2007 be used in cases of spinal cord injury such as that of now-deceased actor Christopher Reeve? Could it be used to cure muscular dystrophy or to grow new hearts? new treatment
Medical scientists and bio-engineers at Wright State University in Ohio are looking at Pischinger's methods and materials, planning to add them to electromechanical and biofeedback techniques already in use for regrowing spinal cords and muscles.
As for new hearts, Seif-Naraghi, et.al. already found in 2013 that extracellular matrix can be injected into a heart to successfully treat myocardial infarction (heart attack). New hearts built by 3D printers using pig powder and stem cells are expected to become a reality.
How Did We Think of Medical Regeneration?
Scientists noticed long ago that some animals can regenerate and replace lost body parts when attacked or injured. After observing them long-term, the researchers began to look at possibilities for humans to make use of similar regrowth. A few of the observations in the animal kingdom are listed below.
Animals That Regenerate on Their Own
Body Part it Regenerates
African Spiny Mouse
Any part of its skin, with almost no scarring.
Many parts, complete with new brain connections.
Lizards and some Snakes
Worm: The Planarian
Cut this worm in two and it will become two whole worms!
- Bonnans, C., Chou, J., & Werb, Z. (2014). Remodelling the extracellular matrix in development and disease. Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology, 15(12), 786–801. http://doi.org/10.1038/nrm3904
- Cheng, C. W., Solorio, L. D., & Alsberg, E. (2014). Decellularized Tissue and Cell-Derived Extracellular Matrices as Scaffolds for Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering. Biotechnology Advances, 32(2), 462–484. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2013.12.012
- Dermeffacefx7.com. 8 Regenerative Animals Changing the Face of Medicine. www.dermeffacefx7.com/info/8-regenerative-animals-changing-the-face-of-medicine/ Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- Falloon, K. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (2010). Patient's persistence got him a new esophagus at UPMC. www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/patients-persistence-got-him-a-new-esophagus-at-upmc-249404/?p=2 Retrieved 8/14/2012.
- Pischinger, A.; Heine, H. (Editor); and Eibl, I. (Translator). (2007) The Extracellular Matrix and Ground Regulation: Basis for a Holistic Biological Medicine. North Atlantic Books.
- Seif-NaraghiSeif-Naraghi, S. B., Singelyn, J. M., Salvatore, M. A., Osborn, K. G., Wang, J. J., Sampat, U., … Christman, K. L. (2013). Safety and efficacy of an injectable extracellular matrix hydrogel for treating myocardial infarction. Science Translational Medicine, 5(173), 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005503. http://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3005503
- Swinehart, I. T., & Badylak, S. F. (2016). Extracellular matrix bioscaffolds in tissue remodeling and morphogenesis. Developmental Dynamics : An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 245(3), 351–360. http://doi.org/10.1002/dvdy.24379
Questions & Answers
Can an amputated foot or toe(s) be regrown?
At this time, medical scientists and bio-engineers are working on the solutions you bring to mind. As long ago as the 1940s, French scientists were able to induce a rat with a severed foot to regrow at least one toe! Today, we are looking at wildlife that can regrow some of their extremities and hope to be able to use the knowledge gained to help humans regrow new fingers and toes, even hands and feet.
For now, hand and foot transplants are working increasingly well, and the science of prosthetic devices is more practical each month. Artificial skin with actual electronic nerve endings will soon allow artificial limbs and even robot skin to feel sensations. We live in awesome times!
© 2012 Patty Inglish MS