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Texas Teen Opts for Stem Cell Therapy, Hopes of Enlisting in Military

KYLE, Texas, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sergio Lopez, 18, of Kyle, Texas, recently underwent a new treatment using his own bone marrow-derived stem cells in lieu of traditional surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm that would not heal. Traditional treatment for his pathology, known as a non-union, is to implant a device, such as a screw or plate. It's this implantation that deterred Lopez from receiving the surgery.

"I have been planning on enlisting in the Army and I didn't want to have any metal implanted in my arm," said Lopez. "My surgeon, Dr. Sheely, suggested stem cell therapy as an option. It sounded like a good idea so we went for it."

Dr. Christina Sheely, of Southwest Orthopedic Group, first met Lopez in February. When she learned he wanted to enlist in the military, she suggested stem cell therapy as an effective alternative to traditional surgery.

"The use of a patient's own stem cells has been shown to effectively grow bone, specifically in non-unions, such as Sergio's," said Sheely. "I was pleased that I was able to offer a treatment that wouldn't keep him from doing what he wanted in life."

The procedure took 2 hours from start to finish. During the procedure, bone marrow is aspirated from the iliac crest (pelvis), and then processed in a cell concentration system. The system, from Austin-based biotech company, Celling Technologies, concentrates bone marrow allowing the desired cells to be delivered back to the patient. The surgeon is then able to deliver a cocktail of wound-healing cells directly back to the injured site. These cells will release growth factors, immune responses and have the potential to develop into new bone-forming cells.

In addition to non-unions, patients' own bone marrow-derived stem cells are being used in a variety of sports-related and orthopedic procedures.

"Non-union, long bone fracture applications using the patient's owns stem cells is our fastest growing segment," said Dru Dunworth of Celling Technologies. "Each day we are discovering the potential for more and more orthopedic applications using our cell concentration systems."

Sheely has a follow-up appointment scheduled with Lopez in the next week. She is hopeful the procedure will prove to be successful.

"I feel confident that we will see positive results in Sergio's arm," said Sheely. "I'm eager to use this type of stem cell therapy to treat patients with similar conditions."

About Southwest Orthopedic Group (

The surgeons at Southwest Orthopaedic Group (SWOG) are highly experienced, board certified orthopedic surgeons with extensive clinical and surgical expertise. SWOG doctors work together as a team to provide every patient the best possible treatment. Through their partnership and through recent dramatic medical advancements in the area of orthopedics, the surgeons at SWOG are leading the way in patient care.

About Celling Technologies (

Celling Technologies, a SpineSmith Partners company, works closely with surgeons, scientists and engineers to research and develop innovative technologies in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.  Celling's product offering focuses on autologous cell therapy and the devices and services that complement these procedures.

SOURCE Celling Technologies
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