The regenerative medicine work of the McGowan Institute Badylak Lab is featured in the October 2007 issue of Esquire magazine in “A Doctor, a Pig, and a Magic Pixie Dust That Could Regrow Fingers.” The story closely follows Dr. Badylak’s work with the development and application of extracellular matrix (ECM).
The “magic pixie dust” featured in the Esquire article is pulverized extracellular matrix that was sprinkled on the severed tip of Lee Spievack’s finger after he amputated it with the propeller blade of a model airplane. Of course there is a happy ending, as foreshadowed by the fairy tale-like title of the story. After the finger was sprinkled every other day with the ECM powder, the missing half-inch tip of the finger actually regrew (regenerated) and is now a perfect facsimile of Spievack’s finger before the accident.
The Badylak Lab feature-length story was #3 in Esquire’s annual Top 100 list, taking top billing in the category of Medical Breakthrough of the Year. The magazine can be purchased at newsstands, and the story can also be accessed below.
Illustration: Spievack’s finger before/after ECM treatment. --McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Esquire Magazine (09/18/07)