Stem cells, the cure for hobbled horses?
Nostrils flaring, ears pricked, Solid Gold shifted nervously as the vet stroked his injured foreleg. The three-year-old racehorse had no way of knowing this injection would save his career, not end it.
While debate rages over the ethics of stem cell research for humans, a Singaporean firm has given racehorse owners a new weapon against career-threatening tendon and ligament injuries.
After harvesting bone marrow from the horse's sternum, EZ Stemcell separates multi-potential stem cells, which are then injected directly into the injured tendon.
This cutting-edge technology will not only revolutionise the way injured horses are treated, says Dr Omie Rangabashyam, but two-legged patients could one day be treated in a similar fashion.
“Without stem cell therapy, the horse would have rested for a year, raced again and the tendon would have probably tore again,” said Rangabashyam.