Using high-frequency sound waves, scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia have managed to grow new bones out of stem cells. Having spent over a decade investigating how sound interacts with different materials, researchers developed a sound wave-generating device that can manipulate cells and fluids. “We can use the sound waves to apply just the right amount of pressure in the right places to the stem cells, to trigger the change process,” says co-lead researcher and professor Leslie Yeo. This innovative feat could crucially help patients who have lost bones to cancer or degenerative diseases—an imperative breakthrough as the current, experimental process requires extracting bone marrow which is expensive and painful. In contrast, this new approach is faster, simpler and more effective. “Our device is cheap and simple to use, so could easily be upscaled for treating large numbers of cells simultaneously,” continues Yeo. Now, the researchers are exploring how to scale their device to treat as many people as possible. Learn more about it at RMIT.
Image courtesy of RMIT