Meet Marine Sgt. Smith

A second chance for a wounded veteran

“I realized I couldn’t move my right arm. At first, I thought it was gone…”

Marine Sergeant Brian Smith

Forever Young: The Promise of Human Regeneration
Marine Sgt. Smith was injured in an IED attack in Iraq

Ground-breaking Treatment

After his injury, Brian was treated by Dr. Badylak, who developed an innovating procedure to regrow muscle tissue. By implanting a scaffold into Brian’s arm, Dr. Badylak’s technique signaled Brian’s own stem cells to grow onto the scaffold and develop into new muscle tissue.

Extracellular Matrix

Dr. Badylak’s technique of triggering damaged muscle tissue to regrow on an extracellular matrix has been successful in many people. Made from substances such as pig bladder, the extracellular matrix is implanted in the wounded area and gives the body a helping-hand to repair itself.

Dr. Badylak describes how his Extracellular Matrix technique works
Dr. Badylak's patients gain major improvements in their quality of life

Regrowing Injured Muscles

In another experiment, Dr. Badylak implanted extracellular matrices into people with leg injuries. These patients made dramatic improvements after surgery - many saw significant regrowth of their leg muscle tissue.

Regenerative Medicine for Wounded Warriors

Brian is one of many servicemen and women who have returned from war zones with grievous injuries. There is hope that advancements in regenerative medicine will help improve their futures and even heal the wounds they suffered at war.

Dr. Marra describes a variety of treatments involving biofabrication that she uses to help wounded veterans

Company Profile

Dr. Badylak holding an extracellular matrix up to a light
Photo credit: AP Photo/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

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