Regeneration is a power gifted to some.Growing a plant ,tree , a shrub are all easy . Creatures such as starfish, salamanders, flatworms all posses regenerative power. Zebra can regrow their heart and flatworms their own head. In the recent years research has been been progressing towards growing human body parts in lab.
But as far as a humans are concerned regenerative powers are very limited. We humans shed the entire outer layer of skin every 2-4 weeks. Individual worn out cells are replaced by the body but regenerating an entire limb or heart is not possible.
Scientists have been successful in regenerating human body parts in the lab. These body parts or organs are also known as organoids. They are not complete functional organs but smaller less functional versions of human organs that can be used for clinical trials. With the current progress in this field , developing a full organ is not far away. This could be of great help in the future as we have many deaths due to organ failures. The level of success of these organs is still being tested but for sure we see a ray of hope. Here are some examples
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin grew the innermost cellular layer of human fallopian tubes using stem cells.Fallopian tube connects the ovaries to the uterus The researchers described that the resulting organoids had features and shapes that are particular to full-size fallopian tubes.
The Ohio State University (OSU) scientists, has been successful in generating a minibrain which is structurally and genetically similar to that of a 5 week old human fetus.The organoid has functioning neurons with signal-carrying extensions like axons and dendrites.
Researchers prompted stem cells to develop into heart muscle and connective tissue, and then organize into tiny chambers and “beat.” The heart muscle cells (indicated by red at the center) are beating while connective tissue (green ring) secures the miniheart to the dish where it grew. This technology can help screen drugs that can cause birth defects in heart, therefore making it easy to avoid such drugs during pregnancy.
researchers for the first time have been able to design a a minikidney that with three types of kidney cells that eventually fom ‘nephrons’ in an adult human kidney.
Scientists have 3D printed human ears by coating cells around molded ear forms. These living cells are cultivated around the molded ear forms so that the cells grow around and shape themselves as ears. The fabricated ears are being transplanted on to rats and being studied for any changes in shape or form.
Liver is the largest organ in the human body and is capable of regeneration to a great extend when inside the human body.But outside the human body it is very difficult to grow liver cells(hepatocytes) and keep them alive. For the first time, scientists from Germany and Israel successfully cultivated hepatocytes in the laboratory, publishing their research Oct. 26, 2015, in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Although they were not successful in cultivating an organoid, this research holds promising future in clinical studies. Currently researchers have been able to regenerate human liver to some extend
In April 2014, the journal Lancet in an article described the successful transplantation of lab grown vaginas into patients , helping to cure vaginal defects. The patients cells were nurtured on vaginal shaped scaffold. The transplants, conducted several years earlier in four girls and young women between the ages of 13 and 18, corrected a congenital defect in which the vagina and uterus are missing or underdeveloped.
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