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Breakthrough for babies born with severe cleft palates after experiments at ISIS
Date:3/18/2010

y expands as fluid is absorbed, encouraging skin growth over and around the plate a process known as 'tissue expansion'. When sufficient skin has been generated to repair the palatal cleft, the plate is removed and the cleft is repaired by using this additional tissue. The success of the preliminary results of self-inflating anisotropic hydrogel tissue expanders mean clinical trials in this area are expected to take place early in 2011.

"Babies born with cleft palates usually have problems feeding, and may have speech difficulties in later life, as well as issues with their hearing, dentition and facial growth," says Mr Marc Swan a plastic surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and the instigator of the study. "The severest cases often have the least favourable outcomes and unfortunately these are the most challenging children to treat surgically."

Rosanna Preston, CEO of CLAPA (The Cleft Lip and Palate Association) commenting on the research said; "Facial clefts of the lip or palate are the most common birth defect and it is vital that we continue to explore new treatments to help those affected. This research is particularly interesting as it addresses the most severe cases where the effects on the child's development may be greatest. We will be excited to see the results of the clinical trials."

The study is the first to be carried out using the Offspec instrument at the recently opened second target station at ISIS. Offspec is the world's most advanced neutron instrument for studying new surface structures and can be used for a number of applications including biological membranes and patterned materials for data storage media.

Andrew Taylor, ISIS Director says: "This study shows how fundamental knowledge about the structure of materials can be used to develop new technology. The instruments at the new ISIS second target station build on 25 years of expertise developed in the UK. They are designed to allow new area
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Contact: Lucy Stone
lucy.stone@stfc.ac.uk
44-123-544-5627
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Source:Eurekalert

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