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Replicating fetal bone growth process could help heal large bone defects

To treat large gaps in long bones, such as the femur, which result from bone tumor removal or a shattering trauma, researchers at Penn Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a process that partially recreates the bone growth process that occurs before birth. A bone defect of more than 2 centimeters is considered substantial, and current successful healing rates stand at 50% or less, with failure often resulting in amputation. The team hopes that their method, which they've developed in rodent models to mimic the process of rapid fetal bone growth, can substantially improve success rates.

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