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“Pixie Dust” Used to Regrow Limbs of Wounded Soldiers

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On May 3, 2010 @ 1:50 pm In Design for Health | 6 Comments

pig, pig bladder, war, afghanistan, pixie dust, biomimicry, green design, sustainable design, design for health, extracellular matrix, stem cells

It sounds too good to be true: a substance called Pixie Dust that is capable of re-growing human limbs. But it’s real, and it’s already being used by surgeons to save wounded soldiers in Afghanistan. The powder, which is actually made up of a collagen [1]-filled substance from pig [2] bladder called extracellular matrix [3], has previously been used to regrow human bladders, and now it’s set to revolutionize the treatment of amputated limbs.

pig, pig bladder, war, afghanistan, pixie dust, biomimicry, green design, sustainable design, design for health, extracellular matrix, stem cells

Scientists aren’t sure why pig bladder has such a unique quality, but they think that the Pixie Dust attracts cells in the body and signals for them to generate new tissue. The miraculous material has passed beyond the research stages — surgeons are treating soldiers in Houston, Texas, who might otherwise have faced amputation. And while the powder isn’t widely used quite yet, the Pentagon [4] is investing millions in research so that Pixie Dust might one day be the treatment of choice for injured soldiers everywhere.

Via UK Daily Mail [5]

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/pixie-dust-used-to-regrow-limbs-of-wounded-soldiers/

URLs in this post:

[1] collagen: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/30/japanese-researchers-make-elastic-plastic-out-of-water/

[2] pig: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/16/researchers-make-crude-oil-out-of-pig-manure/

[3] extracellular matrix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extracellular_matrix

[4] Pentagon: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/17/pentagon-developing-cost-competitive-algae-for-jet-fuel/

[5] UK Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1270990/Pixie-Dust-pig-bladders-regrows-limbs-wounded-soldiers.html?ITO=1490

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