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New hip replacement technique may reduce need for donors

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A revolutionary new hip replacement technique is being trialled which could soon see patients injected with their own bone stem cells rather than those from donors, as is current practice.

A trial of the practice, which will see bone marrow cells used in combination with polymer scaffolds to provide support for the new hip stem, is set to be carried out.

Scientists at the universities of Southampton and Nottingham are hopeful the new technique will prove more effective in promoting hip regrowth and repair.

Earlier preliminary research showed that polymers aided bone formation and attachment of the hip implant through the creation of a living cell material.

Project leader Richard Oreffo said: “Surgeons currently use bone from donors during bone grafting, so introducing a patient’s own stem cells to create a living cell or material composite would be a totally new approach.”

The two-year project was funded by the Medical Research Council.

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