Regen Medicine – Treatment
Barrett: So, this patient is a high-level dressage horse. Now, if he can recover from this, we’re hopeful he can return back to the level that he was already on.
Veterinarians are developing new techniques of using a horse’s STEM cells to heal its injuries. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Barrett: The type of injury that this patient had is a typical injury that dressage horses have. The way they move, they put a lot of stress and strain on what’s called the suspensory ligament, and what he injured was the suspensory ligament branches.
Doctor Jennifer Barrett is an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech’s Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center.
Barrett: Well, some of the things that we’re excited about in our lab is the use of STEM cells to treat tendon and ligament injuries in horses.
Barrett: Did you get his temperature, pulse and respiration?
Female : Yes, I did.
Barrett : Was it normal?
Female : It was normal.
Barrett: Good, thanks.
During a typical procedure, the horse’s injured leg is thoroughly cleaned, given a local anesthetic, then injected with STEM cells.
Barrett: So, I have the ultrasound probe on his ligament, and I am putting the needle in and slipping it in into the skin, underneath the probe and watching myself on the screen as I do it.
So, I’m injecting, and I’m watching on the screen to see if we see any flow go in. If you look on the screen you see a slight white dot coming that’s creating a little space. You see the injection going.
And then, there’s a little air at the end. So, you can see where it went, and it distributed nicely. So, that’s it.
So, now the procedure is completed, and we want to protect the location that we injected through from any chance of infection. So, we’re cleaning off the surface of the leg, and we’ll apply a sterile bandage.
Dr. Barrett says that in the future the same procedure can be used to help heal human injuries. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.