Geoffy the Scientist

With breast implant malpractice settlements on the rise, scientists around the world are contemplating women's breasts, and looking for a "natural" way to cultivate them; not in Tupperware, or test tubes--but inside the body.

Bioengineering researchers, hot on the trail of growing breasts at home, have discovered a way to grow the tissue on site by implanting hollow breast-shaped scaffoldings, into which they "seed" the subject's own fatty tissue. The tissue grows within the mammary mainframe, and develops into a shapely three-dimensional blob of tissue. After that, the scaffolding disintegrates. Latest research has discovered the means to guarantee a vascular loop in the chamber that generates new blood vessels to feed the growing tissue and keep the breasts alive. Using lab rats as subjects, they have successfully implanted, seeded, and grown breasts in the fatty part of their subject's crotches.

Researchers are experimenting with a variety of biodegradable scaffolding-structure materials, from natural elements to plastic polymers. Bioengineer Craig Halberstadt, of Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina is using scaffolding made of sodium alginate, a spongy substance squeezed from seaweed, usually used as an ice cream thickener.

The key to the new research is using the patient's own cells, eliminating any auto-immunity rejection complications. Of course, the development has enormous commercial potential, but researchers somehow remember to mention post- surgical breast reconstruction benefits, in cases of partial or radical (full) mastectomies.

There is, however, no limit to other possibilities. Imagine if micro-surgeons inserted scaffolding shaped like a pair of peacocks, twin Eiffel Towers, or the patient's favorite Powerpuff Girls! The same could go for penile implants, too. Many an ardent male could increase pride in his physical appearance and approve of a unit shaped like a Camaro, space shuttle, or hearty yam. But, I digress. Everyone knows breasts should be ovular with a dot in the middle.

But wait, hold your homegrown hoe-downs. There is a joyless complication. The procedures cannot be tested on humans. To date, as successful as the Grow Your Own Breast Implants field is, they haven't yet been able to figure out how to make the tissue growth STOP! This means there are hundreds of lab rats sitting on virtual gold mines that continue to engorge with impunity, yet, will ultimately lead to their downfall. The resulting option? Breast reduction surgery. That's something you don't want to do at home.