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Regeneration of a Finger

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1 Regeneration of a Finger
Kevin Murphy

2 History of Regenerative Medicine
The first studies of cell regeneration was done by Thomas H. Morgan in 1901. His study concluded that regeneration occurs in special circumstances in which cell growth and replacement take place with in the organism. In 1920, Hans Spemann studied earthworms. When he couldn’t find out why earthworms could regenerate scientists started transplanting random organs and limbs from many different organisms. One day Robert Briggs and Thomas kings transplanted a frogs nuclei into a frog egg and the result was a clone which raised questions about the limits of what cells r capable of . In 1934, Thomas H. Morgan realized that there are 2 types of cell regeneration. In one type, the new cell develops by remodeling of the old cell. In the other the new cell is formed out of the material of the old cell.

3 History continued… In 1939, Paul Weiss defined regeneration as the repair by growth and differentiation of damage suffered by an organism past the phase of primordial development. In 1969, Charles Bodemer hypothesized, since some organisms evolved that ability to scare, but as they evolved this ability the ability to regenerate damaged body parts was lost. In 1981, Martin Evans and Gail Martin managed to cultured mouse embryonic stem cells and turned them into regular cells. This raised questions about whether culturing human embryonic stem cells might be possible. In 1998, the push to find ways to culture stem cells for clinical purposes began. Now there are many lines of regenerative research that have converged which is called regenerative medicine.

4 Current Direction Currently doctors/surgeons are transplanting stem cells. Surgeons can manipulate ones own stem cells to grow into a body part that the patient needs. Researchers are currently using scaffolding materials that emit biochemical signals that draw in stems cells and will regenerate into what the patient needs. Stem cells are currently used to heal broken bones and bad burns in a time period of a week to two weeks to fully heal.

5 Regeneration of a finger
A store owner got the tip of this finger cut off by the engine of a model airplane, and they couldn’t find the tip of the finger. The store owner has a brother in the tissue-regeneration business who told him to forego a skin graft and instead put a powder taken from pig's bladder, that is void of all cells, and put it on the raw finger tip.  The powder consisted of extracellular matrix, which houses the signals that direct cells to divide and build themselves into a specific form. Scientists believed that when a fetus reaches full development, this extracellular matrix stops functioning.  But the extracellular matrix from a pig can kick start certain types of regeneration. In this case when the finger got severed, the cells die, and their contents seep into the surrounding tissue. The immune systems number one defense against this is to cause inflammation and scaring of the severed area.

6 Finger regeneration continued…
When extracellular matrix is applied to a wound, it doesn't trigger an immune response. Instead, when it begins to break down into surrounding tissue, it causes the cells in that tissue to start repairing the damage the way they would in a developing fetus. They divide and rebuild, creating new normal tissue, not scar tissue. Months later, the store owner had regrown the finger tip, tissue, nerves, skin, fingernail and all. He even has the same finger print that he had back in the 1960’s, when they where taken in the army.

7 Future Direction Since 2004 scientists have been working of ways to rejuvenate aging stem cells which aren’t as effective at repairing damaged body parts. Researchers are close to healing blindness, deafness, heart damage, Parkinson's disease, and many other conditions using rejuvenated stem cells. Regenerative medicine will one day replace the field of prosthetics because if you have a damaged body part, your doctors will be able to remove the damaged organ or limb and grow you a new one. Researchers are currently wondering if brain regenerative medicine can heal and rejuvenate a patients aging brain, like they can do with other organs. With regenerative medicine, researchers are predicting a drastic increase in the human life span.

8 Limitations The main limitation of regenerative medicine is the costs. The cost to regrow a damaged heart is $750,000, and the cost to regrow lungs and kidneys is $200,000 each. Currently regenerative medicines work best for the youth because stem cells in adults don’t have the healing capabilities that kids do. Until researchers find ways to rejuvenate adult stem cell, the organs that can be grown by these old cells, will only last a limited number of years. The elderly won’t be able to use regenerative medicine altogether because their stem cells will be to old and the organs grown by them will only last a few months at best.

9 Bibliography "Finger Regenerated Using Pig Bladder Extract." - Softpedia. Web. 17 Oct < shtmlhttp%3A// shtml%20>. National Geographic. National Geographic. Web. 18 Oct <>. Maienschein, Jane. "Regenerative Medicine in Historical Context." Medicine Studies 1.1 (2009): Print. "Researchers Find Brain Cell Transplants Help Repair Neural Damage." EurekAlert!Web. 18 Oct < /ctco-rfb php>. "Transplantation." Regenerative Medicine and Organ : Past, Prese... :. Web. 18 Oct <>. Zuouloulou. "Regrowing Magic Dust Regenerative Medecine Matristem." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Apr Web. 18 Oct <>.

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