Massive bone and tissue loss to the face and head is a significant problem of blast injuries for war fighters. These injuries are difficult to address because multiple levels and tissue types are involved and require different strategies for repair. There are also psychological and self-esteem issues associated with these injuries.
There are synthetic materials available for repair, but they do not integrate with patient’s tissue and can become infected and require extensive, multiple surgeries. In addition, current treatments do not reduce scarring. The ideal solution – and the goal of this program -- is to regenerate the injured or deformed facial or skull structure.
The Wake Forest-Pittsburgh AFIRM Consortium is working to provide the treating surgeon with therapies for the wounded war fighter that will regenerate bone form and function, restore function with muscle and nerve regeneration, reduce scarring, and prevent infection.
Antonious Mikos, Ph.D., Rice University, and Mark Wong, M.D., University of Texas Health Center