NYSCF Researchers Develop New Way to Build Personalized Bone


Over a million individuals per year will suffer from a fracture due to bone diseases such as cancer or osteoporosis. From traumatic injuries to genetic malformation resulting from diseases like osteogenesis imperfecta, the burden of bone deficiencies is massive and rapidly increasing.

One way to create personalized treatments for such injuries is by engineering bone grafts using a patient’s own stem cells, but doing this can be difficult for large scale bone defects.

New research in Scientific Reports from scientists at the NYSCF Research Institute led by NYSCF – Ralph Lauren Senior Investigator Giuseppe Maria de Peppo, PhD, describes a new bioengineering technique called Segmental Additive Tissue Engineering (SATE) which allows researchers to combine segments of bone engineered from stem cells to create large scale, personalized grafts.


“As the size of the defect that needs to be replaced gets larger, more variability results in the engineered bone, and it becomes harder to create a graft that can move from the lab to the clinic,” says NYSCF researcher Dr. Martina Sladkova, the study’s first author. “We wanted to see if we could instead engineer smaller segments of bone individually and then combine them to create an effective, reproducible graft that overcomes the current limitations governing the size of a bone that can be grown in the lab.”

The team tested their new technique on a defect in the femur of a rabbit by creating a scaffold in the size and shape of the defect partitioned into segments, fitting the segments with stem cells, letting the stem cells mature into bone cells in a bioreactor, and then recombining the segments and fitting them back into the original bone with biocompatible bone adhesives or other orthopedic devices.

The researchers are confident that their new technique will one day provide much-needed, personalized relief to patients suffering from bone disease and injury.

Read the full press release here.

Diseases & Conditions:

Bone & Tissue Engineering