LONDON: Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are aiming to reconstruct people’s faces with stem cells taken from their fat.
The team has grown cartilage in the laboratory and believe it could be used to rebuild ears and noses.
The new technique could be applied for creating cartilage for other parts of face such as the nose.
The technique was published in the journal Nanomedicine and could revolutionise care.
Experts said there was some way to go, but it had the potential to be “transformative”.
The doctors want to treat conditions like microtia, that results in the ear failing to develop properly and can be missing or malformed.
At the moment, children have cartilage taken from their ribs, which is then delicately sculpted by surgeons to resemble an ear and implanted into the child.
“Obviously we are at the beginning of this, the next step will be to perfect just the choice of materials and to develop this further,” Dr Ferretti also noted.
The fat-based technique requires more safety testing and analysis before their usage in patients, researchers say.