Scientists: ‘Scaffold’ Key to Regrowing Human Limbs

Growing: Photo Credit: Jeff Turner / Flickr.com

Growing: Photo Credit: Jeff Turner / Flickr.com

(MYFOX NATIONAL) – Scientists have developed a new biologically active “scaffold” made from soluble fibers, which may help humans replace lost or missing bone similar to how lizards regrow their tails when they are cut off, according to ScienceDaily .

Scaffolds could be the key to humans living longer.

Prof. Meital Zilberman of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering said the research may lead to the basic technology needed for regenerating other types of human tissues, including muscle, arteries and skin.

“The bioactive agents that spur bone and tissue to regenerate are available to us. The problem is that no technology has been able to effectively deliver them to the tissue surrounding that missing bone,” Zilberman told ScienceDaily.

Researchers hope the technology can be perfected within 30-50 years, meaning future centenarians born today could have a “physical” age of 50 at a calendar age of 100, according to the BBC .

A research team at Britain’s Leeds University has already managed to make fully functioning heart valves for transplanting, and trials in animals and on 40 patients in Brazil have shown promising results.

Scientists have also had success using stem cells to regenerate tissue and bone. Stem cells have already been used to repair tissues ranging from damaged hearts to collapsed tracheas, and last month, doctors in Cincinnati successfully replaced a 14-year-old boy’s missing cheekbones using stem cells.