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Regenerative Medicine

Medical

DNA sequence behind muscle regeneration begins to unravel

Animals that regrow body parts like zebrafish and newts certainly function very differently to the way humans do, but we might one day be able to borrow some of these traits. A closer look at the mechanism driving these remarkable regenerative abilities has suggested that they could be recreated in mice, with the scientists involved hopeful it could ultimately improve our capacity to regrow damaged body parts.Read More

Medical

Mouse gums turned into fully functioning skin

While growing biological components in the lab such as a thymus gland, sperm cells, eye tissue and cartilage are becoming more and more commonplace, thus far, creating fully functioning lab-grown skin has eluded scientists. Previous attempts have produced epithelial cells only, which comprise the outer layer of skin. Now, researchers at Japan's RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology have created skin tissue complete with sebaceous glands as well as hair follicles. They started with mouse gums.Read More

Science

Scientists decode newts' ability to regenerate limbs

Adult newts are the envy of the animal kingdom when it comes to replacing missing tissue. Amputated legs, arms or tails, there's hardly repair job too big for this animal's remarkable regenerative abilities. For the first time, scientists have pinpointed the mechanism used by the amphibian to regrow missing body parts, a development they say will offer clues to muscle regeneration in mammals.Read More

Medical

Spinning up artificial capillaries with a cotton candy machine

From growing a full thymus gland inside a mouse, to creating a slice of artificial liver tissue, to using ink jet printing technology to create a human ear, researchers are steadily moving us toward the day when ordering up a new organ could be as commonplace as ordering an MRI is today. One of the hurdles in creating lab-grown organs, though, is that the cells in such a structure need a way to receive nutrients. Researchers at Vanderbilt University (VU) may have just leaped that hurdle using a most unexpected tool – a cotton candy machine.Read More

Medical

Biodegradable implant could simplify bone replacement surgery

Combining cornstarch with volcanic ash clay to create a plastic for bone grafts could make the surgical process of bone replacement much simpler in the future. Researchers say the material could replace the need to remove bone from another part of a patient's body, or to use donor cadaver bones that are limited in supply.Read More

Medical

3D-printed guide aids in complex nerve regeneration

Complex nerve injuries are a challenging problem for the medical fraternity, as their reattachment and regrowth is a fraught and delicate process that is very rarely successful. Overcoming these difficulties, however, would mean that a cure for debilitating conditions like paraplegia, quadriplegia and other forms of paralysis may one day be found. In this vein, US researchers have created the first-ever 3D printed guide specifically designed to assist in the regrowth of the sensory and motor functions of complex nerves.Read More

Medical

Man-made ligament could replace ruptured ACLs

If you follow sports at all, then you've probably heard about athletes rupturing their ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. It connects the femur to the tibia, and once it breaks, it's incapable of healing. Treatment most often involves reconstructing the ACL using grafts from the patellar tendon, which connects the patella (aka the kneecap) to the tibia – although this can present problems of its own. Now, scientists at Northwestern University in Illinois are creating a man-made replacement ACL, which could make treatment much more effective. Read More

Medical

Magnetically-directed nanoparticles could help heal broken bones

When a bone is severely broken in the human body, or a bone-fused prosthesis is implanted, a bone graft is also often required to ensure a solid mechanical repair. However, a graft that removes bone from another area of the body can be a painful and invasive procedure, and the mechanical stimulation required for continued bone regeneration in post-operative therapy becomes problematic if a patient is severely immobilized. To address these problems, researchers have discovered that coating magnetic nanoparticles with proteins and then directing them magnetically to the site of the injury can help stimulate stem cells to regenerate bone.Read More

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