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Well, Summer here has been and gone, thankfully taking the unpleasant heat and humidity with it.

What’s left is a gentle daytime low 20’s, bright blue skies and calm Autumn evenings.

I left you for a while to write some more children’s books about our dog’s adventures in South Korea and these are for sale in e – format on Amazon.

If you want to try one for free, Book no 3 will be free to download on Sunday 11th October for 48 hours. Keep trying from Saturday 10th – my time zone may be different to yours! All you need to do is go to your normal Amazon sign in and search for:- Tails in Korea Book 3. You can download it onto a pc, tablet or phone, you just need the free kindle app to do so. Enjoy!

Ok- (free!) sales pitch over, I need to tell you what’s been happening. Dr Shim has had a couple of English speaking lymphedema patients contact him after seeing this blog. They are from completely different parts of the world- it’s amazing how the internet removes those international boundaries!

So, please expect to read another couple of lymphedema/stem cell stories soon. I will provide links for you to find them once they are written.

We have all been corresponding frequently and answering questions and supporting each other. I would have loved to have visited the first patient and meet her, but it was a big public holiday here and there wasn’t a plane or train ticket for sale anywhere!

It’s a different story with the second lady, as I have decided to travel up and have a stem cell top up at the same time as she is there. Its almost 2 years since my first operation and this will be a very small procedure in comparison.

Dr Shim’s process has been refined somewhat and he tells me he now uses a different Huricell stem cell extractor. He is also using a hydrogel to hold the stem cells in place near where they are needed. This will help stop them swimming off to give me a much needed ( much less priority) facelift or leaving me altogether!

Here’s a newly released article about the effectiveness of this gel.

A basic translation is as follows:-

Professor Kim wooseop at Chung-Ang University Hospital, told the worldwide journal ‘Nature’ that Korean researchers have found an effective way for bone differentiation in treatments using stem cells.

Along with Central University Hospital, (Director gimseongdeok) through the teaching and joint research using hydrogel (Hydrogel) ‘ we found a more efficient bone differentiation process of stem cells over 6 days He said.

Central University study results apply to a range of conditions showing that it is possible for stem cells to differentiate into various cells.

Currently, some of the cells during the transplant process of stem cell differentiation process of the cells die and the precise , delicate controls applied have clinical limitations.

However, If this hydrogel is used, ( a biomaterial) it can form a space to hold the cells in place and increase the survival of some transplanted stem cells, also induce the differentiation of stem cells but how the effect of such in vivo was not known until now.

The team results were gained with experiments using porous biomaterial hydrogels (Void-Forming Hydrogel) ‘cell injection material, in order to develop a material that can form a small space which can be injected with a syringe in this study, in vitro as well as bio. They also found that it is possible to induce bone formation in the stem cell.

In addition, the researchers found through this study that the elasticity of the biomaterial for bone differentiation of stem cells 60kPa (kilopascals) stem cells when bone is the most efficient induction of differentiation.

Chung-Ang University Hospital, Professor of Plastic Surgery Kim Wooseop “expects this will improve the timing of clinical applications in future treatment with stem cells. This gel can more effectively induce the goals of stem cell differentiation due to the findings,” he said.

The findings are “space-forming-hydrogel of the elastic stem cells in the bone mechanism on the differentiation”, published on September 18, Nature journal. (Nature)

( I have everything crossed it does the job…)

This research also sounds promising for the future..

When I visit the hospital, my top up will be as follows:-

I will have some fat from my arms removed: it will be processed to gather the stem cells and these will be grafted into my calf the following morning. I will then be discharged in the afternoon.

Dr Shim has also designed an automatic leg bandaging device, which I’m looking forward to seeing. I will post a video of it in use, so you can see how effective it is.

I asked Dr Shim to give me some statistics and updates to share with you, so here they are:-

From 1/1/15, there has been 256 lymphodema patients, having lymphosuction and water assisted liposuction.

In addition, 15 have received stem cell therapy.

I will be the first top up patient.

The MERS outbreak caused a drop in patient numbers for around 3 months earlier in the year, but this is now over and numbers of patients are back on the rise.

I also asked if he had been in touch recently with the boy who had the really bad leg, but he hasn’t. I cannot update you on that case.

I asked about the lady who was fully cured. She is living without bandages and compression garments and is very happy. That’s what I want. That’s what all of us patients want.

I will try to contact her to see if she will come and visit me whilst there are 2 of us in hospital to talk to.

The date of my top up op? 28th October. Back soon to let you know how it went!