Synthetically grown ‘off the shelf’ bone should soon be a reality for landmine blast survivors thanks to a new £2.8 million regenerative medicine project at the University of Glasgow, funded by Sir Bobby Charlton’s charity Find A Better Way.
An estimated 4,300 people are injured or killed by landmine blasts every year, a fact which first inspired Sir Bobby to set up Find A Better Way in 2011 to pursue his dream of a landmine-free world. In dozens of countries where armed conflict ceased decades ago, the victims are overwhelmingly innocent civilians, and frequently children.
As modern landmines are designed to maim rather than kill, this results in a constant demand for reconstructive blast injury surgery. The amount of reconstruction possible is often limited by the amount of bone that can be saved from the injury.