“Once upon a time, we thought bones couldn’t regrow. Now we know they do.” EpiBone, headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, is a biomedical engineering company on a mission to transform skeletal repair. When the need for bone repair arises, typically due to trauma or genetic defects, there are several obstacles that physicians and patients face. Current challenges involve bone rejection, poor fixation, long recovery periods, and painful surgeries. EpiBone aims to build a product to overcome these challenges and focus on whole-body healing.
EpiBone’s groundbreaking technology revolves around the bioreactor. Over 20 years of research and experience, the bioreactor was made to cultivate a nourishing and supportive environment for bone scaffolds to grow in. This three-step process consists of imaging and stem cell extraction, graft and bioreactor design, and finally bone growth. Using a CT scan, the exact 3D size and shape of the bone for the patient are determined. Simultaneously, stem cells are extracted from the patient’s abdominal fat. A personalized bone scaffold is created, and a custom bioreactor will incubate the new bone as it grows. At the last step, the stem cells are infused into the scaffold to grow inside the bioreactor. Once the cells are remodeled into a precise and personalized bone graft, it is ready to be implanted.
Through this technology, EpiBone achieves the perfect fit without the need of cutting bones from a patient’s body. The use of the patient’s own cells reduces the risk of immune rejection and allows for better integration. The bioreactor is finely calibrated to mimic human body conditions. This allows the bone graft to continue growing when implanted. These benefits allow patients to achieve the best quality of life.
In September 2021, EpiBone was one of eight selected new health tech startups by Cedars Sinai Accelerator. This achievement will provide EpiBone access to resources, a network of doctors, researchers, and administrators to provide feedback on their products, in addition to a $100,000 investment.
EpiBone is breaking boundaries in skeletal repair with the help of their diverse and highly credentialed team. Nina Tandon, CEO and Co-Founder of EpiBone, holds 10 years of tissue engineering experience. Tandon completed a Ph.D. and Executive MBA in healthcare entrepreneurship at Columbia University. Building a bridge between business and science, Tandon was named one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company and honored as an innovator in Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers. Aside from EpiBone, Tandon is a TED Senior Fellow with over a million views on her TED talk on personalized medicine. While building EpiBone, Tandon focuses on diversity and healthcare disparities to achieve the best health outcomes for patients allowing them to live a healthy and strong life.