Human Tissue and Organ Repair Using Extracellular Matrix Pig Powder

Updated on January 30, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty uses advanced degrees in preventive medicine, psychology, and TCM in research and treatment for public and private health agencies.

Pigs make creation of new organs easy for surgical transplantation in desperate cases.
Pigs make creation of new organs easy for surgical transplantation in desperate cases. | Source

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.
Warriors in the field are always at risk for serious wounds and other injuries.
Warriors in the field are always at risk for serious wounds and other injuries. | Source

Could this new treatment 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?

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, 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.
Axolotl, Mexican
Many parts, complete with new brain connections.
Lizards and some Snakes
Sea Cucumber
All parts
Worm: The Planarian
Cut this worm in two and it will become two whole worms! 8 Regenerative Animals Changing the Face of Medicine. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
The Mexican axolotl, a cute salamander, can replace its own body parts and make new connections for them in its brain.
The Mexican axolotl, a cute salamander, can replace its own body parts and make new connections for them in its brain. | Source


  • Bonnans, C., Chou, J., & Werb, Z. (2014). Remodelling the extracellular matrix in development and disease. Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology, 15(12), 786–801.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.

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


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      If our people of America want these treatments, they should begin to talk about hem more frequently and contact the doctors that provide these treatments. The gentleman in Ohio sent dozens of messages to the doctor he saw on TV until he received answers and eventually, successful treatment. Some of these treatments do not even require incisions.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      7 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Most modern concept of organ re-generation. If this is successful then many terminally ill patients would have a hope of leading a better and normal life with organ re-generation. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      An inordinate amount of time, pin, and sickness might be avoided with these treatments. Curing Type I Diabetes would be a major miracle to most sufferers - and Muscular Dystrophy? - grow new muscles. We need these treatments to be more easily available in USA.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      7 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Absolutely fascinating, Patty! It could unlock so many treatments. And the story of Ty Warner...good for him. Makes me want to buy a beanie baby just to support him. :) Thank you for this!


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