A revolutionary 'putty' that can heal bone fractures in days rather than months has been developed by scientists.
The University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center scientists used adult stem cells to produce a protein involved in bone healing and generation.
They then incorporated them into a gel, combining the healing properties into something they labelled 'fracture putty.'
Working with Dr John Peroni from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine the team used a stabilising device and inserted putty into fractures in rats.
In just two weeks the rats could run around and stand on their hind legs with no evidence of injury.
Now, the RBC researchers are testing the material in pigs and sheep, too.
"The small-animal work has progressed, and we are making good progress in large animals," the Daily Mail quoted study leader Dr Steve Stice as saying.
The researchers hope the putty will revolutionise fracture treatment for injured soldiers.
"Complex fractures are a major cause of amputation of limbs for U.S. military men and women," Dr Stice said.
"For many young soldiers, their mental health becomes a real issue when they are confined to a bed for three to six months after an injury.
"This discovery may allow them to be up and moving as fast as days afterward," he added.
However, he said, more animal trials will need before it can be tested on humans.