04:42
TED2009

Daniel Kraft: A better way to harvest bone marrow

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Daniel Kraft demos his Marrow Miner -- a new device that quickly harvests life-saving bone marrow with minimal pain to the donor. He emphasizes that the adult stem cells found in bone marrow can be used to treat many terminal conditions, from Parkinson's to heart disease.

- Physician scientist
Daniel Kraft is a physician-scientist, inventor and innovator. He is faculty chair for the Medicine and Exponential Medicine program at Singularity University, exploring the impact and potential of rapidly developing technologies as applied to health and medicine. Full bio

So I am a pediatric cancer doctor
00:18
and stem-cell researcher at Stanford University
00:21
where my clinical focus has been bone marrow transplantation.
00:25
Now, inspired by Jill Bolte Taylor last year,
00:28
I didn't bring a human brain,
00:30
but I did bring a liter of bone marrow.
00:32
And bone marrow is actually what we use
00:35
to save the lives of tens of thousands of patients,
00:38
most of whom have advanced malignancies like leukemia and lymphoma
00:40
and some other diseases.
00:43
So, a few years ago, I'm doing my transplant fellowship at Stanford.
00:45
I'm in the operating room. We have Bob here,
00:49
who is a volunteer donor.
00:51
We're sending his marrow across the country to save the life
00:53
of a child with leukemia.
00:55
So actually how do we harvest this bone marrow?
00:57
Well we have a whole O.R. team, general anesthesia, nurses,
00:59
and another doctor across from me.
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Bob's on the table, and we take this sort of small needle,
01:05
you know, not too big.
01:07
And the way we do this is we basically
01:09
place this through the soft tissue,
01:11
and kind of punch it into the hard bone,
01:13
into the tuchus -- that's a technical term --
01:15
and aspirate about 10 mls of bone marrow out,
01:17
each time, with a syringe.
01:21
And hand it off to the nurse. She squirts it into a tin.
01:23
Hands it back to me. And we do that again and again.
01:26
About 200 times usually.
01:29
And by the end of this my arm is sore, I've got a callus on my hand,
01:31
let alone Bob,
01:33
whose rear end looks something more like this,
01:35
like Swiss cheese.
01:37
So I'm thinking, you know, this procedure hasn't changed in about 40 years.
01:39
And there is probably a better way to do this.
01:43
So I thought of a minimally invasive approach,
01:45
and a new device that we call the Marrow Miner.
01:48
This is it.
01:50
And the Marrow Miner, the way it works is shown here.
01:52
Our standard see-through patient.
01:55
Instead of entering the bone dozens of times,
01:57
we enter just once, into the front of the hip or the back of the hip.
01:59
And we have a flexible, powered catheter
02:01
with a special wire loop tip that stays inside the crunchy part of the marrow
02:04
and follows the contours of the hip, as it moves around.
02:07
So it enables you to very rapidly aspirate,
02:10
or suck out, rich bone marrow very quickly through one hole.
02:12
We can do multiple passes through that same entry.
02:15
No robots required.
02:17
And, so, very quickly, Bob can just get one puncture, local anesthesia,
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and do this harvest as an outpatient.
02:22
So I did a few prototypes. I got a small little grant at Stanford.
02:26
And played around with this a little bit.
02:29
And our team members developed this technology.
02:31
And eventually we got two large animals, and pig studies.
02:33
And we found, to our surprise, that we not only got bone marrow out,
02:37
but we got 10 times the stem cell activity
02:39
in the marrow from the Marrow Miner, compared to the normal device.
02:42
This device was just FDA approved in the last year.
02:44
Here is a live patient. You can see it following the flexible curves around.
02:47
There will be two passes here, in the same patient, from the same hole.
02:50
This was done under local anesthesia, as an outpatient.
02:53
And we got, again, about three to six times more stem cells
02:55
than the standard approach done on the same patient.
02:58
So why should you care? Bone marrow is a very rich source of adult stem cells.
03:01
You all know about embryonic stem cells.
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They've got great potential but haven't yet entered clinical trials.
03:06
Adult stem cells are throughout our body,
03:09
including the blood-forming stem cells in our bone marrow,
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which we've been using as a form of stem-cell therapy
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for over 40 years.
03:15
In the last decade there's been an explosion of use
03:17
of bone marrow stem cells to treat the patient's other diseases
03:20
such as heart disease, vascular disease,
03:23
orthopedics, tissue engineering,
03:25
even in neurology to treat Parkinson's
03:27
and diabetes.
03:29
We've just come out, we're commercializing, this year,
03:31
generation 2.0 of the Marrow Miner.
03:33
The hope is that this gets more stem cells out,
03:35
which translates to better outcomes.
03:37
It may encourage more people to sign up to be
03:39
potential live-saving bone marrow donors.
03:41
It may even enable you to bank
03:43
your own marrow stem cells, when you're younger and healthier,
03:45
to use in the future should you need it.
03:47
And ultimately -- and here's a picture of our
03:50
bone marrow transplant survivors,
03:52
who come together for a reunion each year at Stanford.
03:54
Hopefully this technology will let us
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have more of these survivors in the future.
03:58
Thanks.
04:00
(Applause)
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About the Speaker:

Daniel Kraft - Physician scientist
Daniel Kraft is a physician-scientist, inventor and innovator. He is faculty chair for the Medicine and Exponential Medicine program at Singularity University, exploring the impact and potential of rapidly developing technologies as applied to health and medicine.

Why you should listen

Daniel Kraft is a Stanford- and Harvard-trained physician-scientist with over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and innovation. Dr. Kraft chairs the Medicine track for Singularity University and is Executive Director and curator for the FutureMed, a program which explores convergent, exponentially developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare.

Dr. Kraft is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics following residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed Stanford fellowships in hematology/oncology & bone marrow transplantation, and extensive research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. He has multiple scientific publications, medical device, immunology and stem cell-related patents through faculty positions with Stanford University School of Medicine and as clinical faculty for the pediatric bone marrow transplantation service at University of California San Francisco.

Dr. Kraft recently founded IntelliMedicine, focused on connected, data driven, and integrated personalized medicine. He is the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA approved device for the minimally invasive harvest of bone marrow,  and founded RegenMed Systems, a company developing technologies to enable adult stem cell based regenerative therapies. 

Daniel is an avid pilot and serves as a officer and flight surgeon with an F-16 Squadron in the California Air National Guard. He has conducted research on aerospace medicine that was published with NASA, with whom he was a finalist for astronaut selection.

More profile about the speaker
Daniel Kraft | Speaker | TED.com