OUR 3-STEP PROCESS
Imaging & Stem Cell Extraction
First, we use a CT scan to determine the exact 3D size and shape of the bone a patient needs. At the same time, we extract adult stem cells from the patient’s abdominal fat.
Graft & Bioreactor Design
Next, we create a precise, personalized model (or “scaffold”) of the needed bone. We also design and build a custom bioreactor that will incubate the new bone as it grows. Meanwhile, we nourish the stem cells such that they multiply and start becoming bone cells.
In this phase all the ingredients come together. We infuse the stem cells into the scaffold and grow them inside the bioreactor. In that carefully crafted environment, the cells remodel into a personalized bone graft ready for implantation.
The technology at the heart of EpiBone is the bioreactor. Its task is essential and delicate: to mimic the finely calibrated conditions in the human body that enable bone to grow. Strong, living tissue can only form where the nourishment, temperature, movement, and pressure are just right. Our proprietary bioreactor technology is the product of 20 years of fundamental research and experience with orthopedic tissue engineering.
Research has shown that cultivating human stem cells in an osteogenic scaffold in a bioreactor supports critical outcomes, including cell survival, differentiation, and maturation and deposition of bone matrix. This approach also restricts the development of unwanted cell lines.
Bones that grow in a well designed bioreactor are ready to continue remodeling and vascularization once they’re transplanted into a patient. In the EpiBone bioreactor, we can grow a new, personalized bone in just three weeks.