Healthy Living: Animal scaffolding to re-grow human tissue
A certain type of sheath is made from the bladder of a pig and it’s used to re-grow tissue in humans. In today’s Healthy Living, Marcie Fraser looks at UBM, or Urinary Bladder Matrix.
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It's called animal scaffolding and it's from a pig. It's revolutionized tissue re-growth in humans.
"My foot was swollen and red blood and I thought I had a blood clot in my leg," said Jonna Rue, Acell patient.
Jonna Rue entered the hospital and that was the last thing she remembers. She woke up four weeks later, with doctors considering amputating her lower leg because of the damage a flesh eating bacteria had caused.
"Given the amount of overall tissue loss a lot of the muscles in the leg were also removed at surgery. It was not looking promising to keep her leg and have some function to it," said Dr. Peter Fisk, Community Care general surgeon.
No one knows how she got the flesh eating bacteria. Before doctors amputated her leg, there was one more option: a new product called extracellular matrix, which is made from the cells of the lining of a pig’s bladder. It comes in powder form or a sheath which gets placed right into the infected area.
"As it is applied into wound, it breaks down and releases molecules, signals and proteins which allows for the bodies, the patient’s own cells, to come to area and provide necessary tissue and ground work to heal up a wound," said Dr. Fisk.
After a few weeks they found amazing results.
"Over a period of about six weeks, we were able to grow enough tissue back in her leg such that we were to place a skin graph over the final coverage and now she's walking around with a functional leg," said Dr. Fisk.
What's unique about this product is that it's called, site specific.
"When most wounds heal, they generally heal with scar tissue, where as this stuff, when applied, the Acell product will actually make specific tissue for that area. So if you need to need muscle, it will provide muscle for that area. If you need skin, it will provide skin for that area," said Dr. Fisk.
This product is used in various ways. Look for more information in Sunday's report.