Monthly Archives: May 2015

A paper mentions restoring bone growth after cessation

I haven’t gotten all the required information on this post but it’ll be in this post(I’ll bump it when I get more).

A Review of the Epiphyseal Plate in Long Bones

“The human skeleton is a complex organ involved in movement, support, and protection. The epiphyseal plate is the mediator of longitudinal bone growth in long bones. The various layers of the plate function to facilitate growth, and a disturbance to any layer has the potential to cause growth cessation. The Salter-Harris classification system is used frequently to diagnose epiphyseal fractures according to the location of various separations. Youth sports, especially American football, are the leading cause of epiphyseal injuries. Future research is focused on developing a gene therapy to restore bone growth after cessation.”<-Interesting that they feel a gene therapy is sufficient to restore bone growth after cessation without any implants or fracture to make room for the growth plate.  Even if we don’t have access to gene therapy methods, finding a way to stimulate longitudinal bone growth without mechanical intervention would be a boon to supplement only methods of increasing height.

It was written by Cameron Shegos at Kalamazoo College.  So if you have any info please share.

He has a more detailed version


“The human skeleton is a complex organ involved in movement, support, and protection. During a child’s adolescent years, this skeleton is rapidly growing. The epiphyseal plate, better known as the growth plate, is the mediator of longitudinal bone growth in long bones. The various layers of the epiphyseal plate function uniformly to facilitate growth, and a disturbance to any layer has the potential to cause growth cessation. The Salter-Harris classification system is used frequently to diagnose epiphyseal fractures according to the location of various separations. Modern technology has further improved this system by developing a comprehensive classification of pediatric long bong fractures as well as additional classifications to the Salter-Harris scheme. Youth sports, especially American football, are the leading cause of epiphyseal injuries, along with many other sports and recreational actives such as skate boarding and bicycling. Reasons for concern and possible countermeasures to prevent an epiphyseal injury are provided and suggested. The idea of developing a gene therapy to restore bone growth after cessation as well as surrounding damaged tissues due to injuries is the future of medical research with regards to the epiphyseal plate.”

Israeli Biomedical Company Bonus Biogroup Develops Functional Bone Implants

One of the few regular readers of the website Mika recently sent a message to the website email ( showing me something which did peak my interest. It seems this Israeli Biomedical Company Bonus Biogroup has gotten the bone implant part down using the 3D Bioprinting technology. Refer to the powerpoint pdf in the link

However,we have already seen maybe a dozen other companies who have been working on and gotten the functional bone tissue implantation to work out. Bone tissue implants using a stem cell into scaffold matrix model based on the standard tissue engineering process is very straight forward. I know at least 3 different university teams that have already gotten that to work.

What makes this group on Israel very interesting is that they are using 3D Printers to build the scaffold, but also plan to try to build cartilage-bone combination tissues in the future.

Mika tells me that the CEO, this Dr. Shai Meretzki, has proposed the idea of using these bone implants to help dwarves grow taller. I have not found that link or reference yet. However I did find this single passage from the following source (

Grows like any other part of the body

“This is a better solution for the body than plastic or metal pieces,” Meretzki claims. These bones are “active live bones that can grow; remodel and change as your body does.” Even with young children, when the bone graft is surgically inserted, the new addition adjusts and grows like any other part of the body.

This suggests that the bones when put into young children with functional growth plates, the bones can elongate or grow longitudinally (interstitially) along with the other part of the bone. Now, does this mean that this company already has got the Bone-Cartilage Combo working already?


What the passage is really saying is that the person still needs to have the functional growth plate cartilage in their damaged bone. The tissue implant is still only a scaffold for bone tissue, not cartilage tissue.

He still has not gotten the bone-cartilage interface to be perfected yet. What he has perfected is the bone tissue growing part. For a better explanation of the process, refer to

He still needs a functional epiphyseal cartilage tissue with the reserve zone area to get the bone to grow on. Bone is bone. He has only been able to get the bone implants to work.

This is the next step, to get the bone-cartilage combo to be functional, which is really tricky. refer to the passage below….

“Currently,” Meretzki tells NoCamels, “we are growing bone and cartilage but we’re working on a system that combines the property of both bone and cartilage.” Hoping to break into the field of healing joints, which is more complex has it includes cartilage. “It’s an extremely desperate and vast market with a limited solution,” says Meretzki.”

The CEO of this company would like to get the tissue combination to be functional though. If he does manage to accomplish that, he will have touched closer to the holy grail of what I have been proposing for the last 2 years. Even then, he would still need to account for the reserve zone of MSCs and the perfect growth stimulation factor combo.

To listen to a talk by the CEO, refer to this vimeo –


Enthesis LSJL May 21st, 2015 Update #1

Here’s the things that I’ve been keeping in mind while performing LSJL loading.  First, is that bone adapation itself can not make you taller.  Bone adapts to the stimulus provided to it but not always in the way you want.  If you stretch the bone it won’t get longer but rather stronger and more resistant to stretching(unless you stretch it with enough force as to get into the plastic deformation range).

Since the loads to cause plastic deformation would be extreme and difficult to apply properly the goal is to affect other types of stimulus within the bone to encourage longitudinal bone growth like the stem cells, attached ligament enthesis’, the periosteum, and other surrounding soft tissue.

The previous method of LSJL involved clamping the synovial joint region whereas enthesis LSJL involves clamping two bones against each other.  The enthesis attaches into the bone so it would be a potential region where a new growth plate could form.  The enthesis structurally resembles the zone of ranvier where stem cells reside to provide for the growth plate.

This was the regime I was using.

I noticed that I was getting better results with my arms than my legs as my wingspan had increased from 72.5″ to 74.5″.  The arm method I use with the enthesis method is the same as the standard LSJL method but the leg method is different.  The structure of all the joints is different so the loads are applied differently.  In the LSJL studies, the scientists found that the amount of bone deformation induced by LSJL was actually very small and they theorized that the results(including partially longitudinal bone growth) due to lateral knee loading could be due to the creation of a pressure gradient.  As fluid flows more easily from a lateral direction than an axial one.  However, it’s also possible that the LSJL results were due to the loading of bone against each other(which are attached by ligaments).  The screw that was used to load the rats knee and ankle was huge relative to the size of the knee and ankle so the screw would’ve easily been loading the bones against each other.  This is in contrast to our method where the clamps are small relative to the knee and ankle.

With this new enthesis LSJL method I have not been getting definitive results on my arms and legs.  However, it was a significant amount of time before I noticed that my arms grew longer by about 1 inch each.  With the old method I loaded my arms by about a count of 500(with instances of stopping) with a clamp every other day.  Now I do it for about 30-40 counts several times a day.

It’s possible that the sustained session was more effective than the intermittent sessions.  I don’t think mechanosensitivity is a big issue.  Mechanosensitivity is the decreased response of a tissue to load. We know that increased longitudinal bone growth is not going to come from bone directly.  All cells have mechanosensitivity but not to the degree that osteocytes seem to have in bone.  Osteocytes are more mature cells than stem cells and chondrocytic like cells so they would likely be less prone to adaptation.

So, I don’t think that cycling off of loading would be an issue for enthesis loading.  And you probably need a minimum amount of time for it to be effective.

So I’m going to try to sustain the load on the sites for longer.  I know for sure that I gained about an inch of arm length it’s just a matter of reproducing it.

Found a good paper about mechanical factors on longitudinal bone growth

I recommend reading this because it is more informal than typical scientific papers and has some good insights.

The mechanical factors which influence bone growth

“the uptake of dye ‘madder’ by bone [is] only deposited where osteoblast activity was present”

“the shaft of the bone actually expanded, so that the bone cells grew apart as interstitial bone formed. ”

” in a deformed bone the internal structure was radically altered as a response to the static forces working on it. A normal bone will alter to meet a change in its function{But that doesn’t mean that the change will be what you want.  The body will adapt to you playing basketball but not the desired effect of growing taller}.  If such change in mechanical environment is rectified, the bone will resume its former shape and structure.”

” the assumption of the right posture will be associated with a change of cranial length as the centre of gravity of the cranium is required to rest over the feet.”<-So the predominant poster that a child uses will affect his cranium length.

“The hydroxy-apatite crystals are the pressure absorbing component of bone. The collagen fibres give the bone its tensile strength and elasticity. Compression and elongation give rise to electrical charges at the boundaries of the crystals and seem to produce appositional growth and reabsorption by triggering off the chemical processes leading to the formation of the metabolites which control these processes. Bone thus responds in its structure to the different forces such as compression, tension and torsion. The torsional strength of bone is about a third of its compressive strength, so it is not surprising to find that the tibia and humerus have a spiral arrangement of collagen fibres to protect them from the torsional forces to which they are particularly subjected. The bones of infants have a much lower modulus of elasticity than those of children, as though walking only becomes possible once the bone has stiffened.”<-So if one method to grow taller involves decreasing bone age then it might suggest that the bone age has decreased via weaker bone.

” the individual apatite crystals rather than the long glass rods enable the cracks, which always develop before a material fails under stress, to remain isolated rather than spreading rapidly as they do in fibreglass. Thus any lack or excess of muscle pull or body weight will have a significant effect on bone growth.”

“Sustained pressure on the growth plates of the distal femur and proximal tibia may compress the anterior portion and distract the posterior portion of the upper tibial growth plate”

” a simple piezo-electric effect on the apatite bone crystals [responds] to unusual pressure just as a crystal gramophone needle does. The effect is to stimulate growth on the side compressed by body weight until spontaneous correction occurs.”

“The medial femoral condyle tends to force the upper tibial epiphysis laterally so that the cells which bud off from the epiphysis, on which all longitudinal growth depends, will not only be excessively compressed but also subject to lateral sheer. The result may be a cessation of growth in the area where the abnormal stress is greatest. As the lateral half of the growth plate continues to grow, the result is a steadily increasing deformity and all the changes characteristic of tibia vara develop. The medial portion of the growth plate will become grossly abnormal and the histology shows not the normal beautifully ordered vertical columns of cells but total disorganization. I personally believe that this has a purpose, because the tongue of disordered cartilage and bone which is readily palpable, acts as a claw and, rather like a climber’s hands, holds the epiphysis in place and prevents any further lateral shift.”<-So would it be possible to avoid this and get a longer femur?

Here’s another good more traditional technical paper that’s related but still possible for a layman to understand:

The Developing Bone: Slave or Master of Its Cells and Molecules?

“A large number of molecular, cellular, and epidemiologic factors have been implicated in the regulation of bone development. A major unsolved problem is how to integrate these disparate findings into a concept that explains the development of bone as an organ. Often events on the organ level are simply presented as the cumulative effect of all factors that individually are known to influence bone development. In such a cumulative model it must be assumed that each bone cell carries the construction plan of the entire skeletal anatomy in its genes. This scenario is implausible, because it would require an astronomical amount of positional information. We therefore propose a functional model of bone development, which is based on Frost’s mechanostat theory. In this model the genome only provides positional information for the basic outline of the skeleton as a cartilaginous template. Thereafter, bone cell action is coordinated by the mechanical requirements of the bone. When mechanical challenges exceed an acceptable level (the mechanostat set point), bone tissue is added at the location where it is mechanically necessary. The main mechanical challenges during growth result from increases in bone length and in muscle force. Hormones, nutrition, and environmental factors exert an effect on bone either directly by modifying the mechanostat system or indirectly by influencing longitudinal bone growth or muscle force. Predictions based on this model are in accordance with observations on prenatal, early postnatal, and pubertal bone development. We propose that future studies on bone development should address topics that can be derived from the mechanostat model.”

“the desired effect of bone homeostasis is to keep the mechanically induced deformation of bone (in biomechanical terminology called “strain”) close to a preset level, or set point. The deformation of a bone is a surrogate measure of its strength, because a strong bone will deform less than a weak bone when a mechanical challenge is applied. Bone deformation generates canalicular fluid flow”<-A bone’s goal is to aid strength and not length.  So we have to increase bone length in other ways at the stem cell level.

“Longitudinal growth increases lever arms and bending moments and therefore leads to greater bone deformation. Greater muscle force will also increase bone deformation during muscle contraction. Body weight alone puts relatively small loads on bones, but the effect of weight is amplified by muscle action”

3D Printing New Functional Epiphyseal Growth Plates Cartilage – Major Updates

I have not written a major post in maybe 4 months and the reasons are personal. However, what I will write will be major updates to our research.

In the last month, I was able to get new information on where the cutting edge of printing is actually at.

Here is what I have found. When I attended a 3D Printing Expo last year, I talked to multiple companies and all of them said that the their current 3D Printings can NOT be used to print human tissue. Almost all the printers could only handle ABS or PLA.

There was only maybe 1 or 2 hints that some company was out there making human tissue that can be implanted back in the body, and work en vivo. The main company that was mentioned was Organovo. I have been aware of Organovo for a while now.

The stories you hear about the biomedical team in Wake Forest University who printed out the ears show that the academic researchers are still being very cautious. However, I think we know that there is a much bigger potential here.

I recently came across this company based in China called Qingdao Unique Group, website who have one type of 3D Printer which has been purposely designed to print human tissue, layer by layer.

Now, they have purposely have said that their current model is to print out the tough, non-living organic scaffold, with injectors which add cells into the porous scaffold structure, which eventually overtakes the non-living scaffold. However, I can see that it has much more possibilites.

I managed to get a quote on one model that they are selling which is for $60,000 for one unit. I am not sure if that includes also the modifications that I asked for.

They will be attending this conference in Boston at the Wyndam, Beacon Hill from Jul 8-9 called the Organ-On-A-Chip World Conference & 3D Printing held by SelectBio. I plan to attend that conference and see just how far the various groups of biomedical researches in the universities around the world have actually gotten. The cost for a non-student from industry is about $1,300 just for a ticket but for a student it is only $300.

I am hoping that Dr. Robert T. Ballock, Jean Welter of Case Western University, and Warren Grayson at Johns Hopkins are able to attend something like this.

From a completely technical perspective, 3D Printing cartilage and bone is probably the easiest of all of the human tissues to print out and get correct. The application of Bio-printers to create functional growth plates just seems so obvious and easy.