“Pixie Dust” Regrows Finger

posted by
Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, You Decide

From Sarah:

Horse Jockey, Paul Halpern, Regrows Bitten-Off Finger With Help Of Powder Made From Pig Bladders by Anthony Rivas
September 17, 2013

lost-finger-200Besides the initial pain, losing a finger may soon be a lot less distressing and debilitating, if one South Florida doctor has his way. That”™s because he used a powder, known in the media as Magic Pixie Dust, to regrow one horse jockey”™s digit “” both tissue and bone “” after it was bitten off by his horse while feeding.

“It”™s a certain powder, a dust that you sprinkle on your finger every other day, you wrap it up, and long story short, it grew back “” the majority of it,” Paul Halpern, the New Jersey-based horse jockey, who spends some of his time in Florida, told NBC6. “I”™m quite happy.”

The procedure is a form of xenotransplantation, more commonly known as cross-species transplantation, during which animal organs or tissue are transplanted into humans, and it’s non-surgical and painless. ACell, a producer of the MatriStem powder, says that it is made from tissue of pig bladders because the “protein scaffold” is “nearly identical to that of human tissue.”

Dr. Eugenio Rodriguez, of the Deerfield Beach Outpatient Surgical Center, gave Halpern the powder, telling him to apply it to where he lost part of his finger, along with a protective sheet containing a saline solution. Over the course of two months, the finger slowly grew back.

“I couldn”™t notice at the time, but once everything had healed, and the fingernail grew back, which is quite miraculous, and the skin healed over, then you really notice,” Halpern told NBC6.

The powder works by attracting stem cells to the wound site and then promoting growth, Rodriguez said. He”™s been using the powder for over three years, and believes he”™s the only one in South Florida to use it.

Others across the nation have used it too, however, with similarly “miraculous” results, as one 51-year-old Nebraska patient, who had lost the tip of his thumb in a chainsaw accident, described it. “The best one thousand bucks I ever spent,” he said, according to Burns & Levinson, LLP, who represents ACell.