Stem Cell Powder Regrows Man’s Finger–Story Is Viral but Is It Real?

Stem cell powder regrows man's finger

Stem cell powder, which Lee Spievak calls “pixie dust” has almost magically regrown Spievak’s previously missing finger, according to a report on the BBC. That story has gone viral on social media, but is it real? The tale goes something like this: a man’s finger was “magically” regrown by stem cell powder. There’s no actual magic involved, of course, only science, but the results are so miraculous that Spievak, who had lost his finger in a hobby shop accident, says he feels he has witnessed something he never thought possible; his entire finger tip grew back perfectly intact, including a complete fingerprint, after doctors sprinkled stem cell powder derived from a pig’s bladder onto the wound.

It sounds like something out of a fairy tale, but real medicine might be at work in this case. Spievak’s brother mailed him the powder from a lab headed by Dr. Stephen Badylak. Badylak calls the “pixie dust” powder an “extra cellular matrix” and says that the stem cells can be made into sheets as well as powder, which can potentially be used to regrow all types of tissue, including organs.

The stem cell powder and sheets will soon be undergoing several types of clinical trials. In the first trial, a woman suffering from esophageal cancer will have the stem cells placed in her esophagus after surgery to see if the tissues there will regenerate. In the second trial, member of the U.S. military will participate. In this study, doctors will attempt to regrow missing fingers. The end goal is to see whether this technology could one day be perfected and used to regrow entire limbs, organs and even bones.

The stem cell “pixie dust” that regrew Spievak’s missing finger might also soon be used to help regenerate the skin of patients who have suffered very severe burns. Doctors anticipate that this technique could be perfected within about ten years’ time.

The story of stem cell powder regrowing a man’s finger is exciting, and it has gone viral on social media, but still it is important to ask the question: is it real? Since the original report on the BBC, several scientists have come forward to try to discredit the story, saying that Spievak never lost his entire finger; only the very tip; and he didn’t lose any of the bone. Given the amount of finger Spievak actually lost, they say, it would have regrown on its own anyway.

Some experts also point out that no study has been done thus far to determine whether the results Spievak achieved were indeed due to his using stem cell powder or were just the result of what would have happened naturally anyway. To complicate matters, after the original story broke, it was later revealed that Spievak is related to Dr. Badylak, which could represent a definite conflict of interest. Still, experts say, the fact that Spievak claims to have feeling back in his fingertip is quite remarkable if true because normally, when a fingertip grows back after a severe injury, all feeling is lost.

The original story of stem cell powder regrowing a man’s finger came out in 2005, but has come back around on social media and has gone viral. Is it real? The medical community and public can only wait until further research is carried out to determine whether stem cell powder has any proven, practical medical applications. However, a report by ABC says that upon follow-up done in 2008, it was discovered that the stem cell powder was, at that time, being developed to treat various types of injuries.

By: Rebecca Savastio

Sources:

BBC

ABC

BBC

11 Responses to "Stem Cell Powder Regrows Man’s Finger–Story Is Viral but Is It Real?"

  1. lily   November 28, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Can anyone post photos of their healed fingers? Before and after treatment. Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  2. Roy   November 6, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Can anyone give me a phone number I can call.

    Reply
  3. tay   October 17, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I can’t find the one for u finger!can someone help me?

    Reply
  4. Don   May 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I can speak from experience on this. By this August my severed fingertip will be completely regenerated nail and all. Absolutely amazing and so much better than the other alternatives all of which would have left me with a permanent disability.

    Reply
  5. Ervin   April 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Oprah had them on her show discussing the powder made from pigs to regrow a finger a man lost in an accident… can easily look up her shows and find out. Google, “Oprah show, pig powder” Can also check on youtube

    Reply
  6. Goober   April 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    If your finger injury is old, why couldn’t they slice of the end and use the dust to grow the whole finger?

    Reply
  7. r   March 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I want this ECM too. The first phalanx of my finger was amputated in year 2009 but i think thats too late so it doesnt work on me because its very old. Please help me what csn I do ? I really want a solution too for my finger 🙁 🙁

    Reply
  8. djcukor   February 12, 2015 at 4:32 am

    @ CC
    I’m also interested in hearing how the treatment ended.

    Anything?

    Reply
  9. Richard Bryant   February 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    My nephew sawed off the tip of one finger with a power saw and got it fully restored using this “pixie dust” treatment. His recovery was 100%, and he still plays the guitar.

    Reply
  10. CC   August 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    This is absolutely real. My daughter lost the top 1 centimeter of her finger, all of the nail bed, and bone. The injury resulted from a bike that bluntly cut of her finger, just above the first joint. We are on week three of treatment and she has 8mm back. We are still waiting for her tip to heal. Doctors didn’t know about it and we had to convince them to try it. This is real science that provides a matrix for the body’s own stem cells to rebuild the finger. As of right now, it can’t regenerate joints. The doctors were skeptical but willing to try. They know all come in to my daughter’s appointments and can’t believe the progress.

    Reply
    • Roberto Lopez   October 29, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Any progress since your last post?

      Reply

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