Apr 18, 2019

Could humans ever regenerate limbs?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Circa 2016

Just lopped off your ring finger slicing carrots (some time in the future)? No problem. Just speed-read this article while you’re waiting for the dronebulance. …

“Epimorphic regeneration” — growing digits, maybe even limbs, with full 3D structure and functionality — may one day be possible. So say scientists at Tulane University, the University of Washington, and the University of Pittsburgh, writing in a review article just published in Tissue Engineering, Part B, Reviews (open access until March 8).

The process of amphibian epimorphic regeneration may offer hints for humans. After amputation, the wound heals to form an epidermal layer, the underlying tissues undergo matrix remodeling, and cells in the region secrete soluble factors. A heterogeneous cell mass, or blastema, forms from the proliferation and migration of cells from the adjacent tissues. The blastema then gives rise to the various new tissues that are spatially patterned to reconstruct the original limb structure. (credit: Lina M. Quijano et al./Tissue Engineering Part B)

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