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We offer our most sincere condolences to Old Man who lost his wife of 59 years on Monday night to Pancreatic Cancer.   
He is in our sincere thoughts and prayers.

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Author Topic: Silicone caps containing a drug-infused gel—block the formation of the collagen  (Read 334 times)

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Salamanders do it. So do starfish. And now scientists have shown that frogs can regenerate amputated limbs, once their stumps have been treated with a multidrug “cocktail.” The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, represent a notable advance in the field of regenerative medicine, which aims to replace human tissues and organs to restore normal function.

“This is really kind of a first step into figuring out what type of treatment methods might we use in the future,” said Catherine McCusker, a University of Massachusetts Boston biologist who wasn’t involved in the research. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to regenerate complete human limbs within my lifetime,” she added, “but I think that we’ll definitely be much closer, that’s for sure.”

In previous research, scientists tried to prompt limb regrowth in various animals using techniques including electrical stimulation and cell transplants. For the new study, a team led by Tufts University biologist Michael Levin took a different approach. They amputated the hind legs of more than 100 anesthetized African clawed frogs and treated the stumps of some of the frogs with five growth-promoting drugs.
Silicone caps, called BioDomes, contained a drug-infused gel and were sewn onto the frogs’ stumps.
Photo: Nirosha Murugan/Tufts University

Silicone caps containing a drug-infused gel—including compounds known to encourage the growth of nerve, blood vessel and muscle tissue and to block the formation of the collagen involved in scarring—were sewn onto the stumps. The caps, which the scientists call BioDomes, were left in place for 24 hours before being removed.

Within two weeks, the researchers saw a significant increase in soft tissue growth among frogs that had been treated with the drug cocktail. Over the next 18 months, those frogs also showed increased bone regeneration and nerve and muscle development compared with their untreated counterparts. Ultimately, the treated frogs grew appendages with new knee joints and several boneless toes—not fully formed legs but good enough for the frogs to swim with.

“There is nothing leg-specific about the drug cocktail,” said Dr. Levin, who directs the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts. “In other words, we did not try to tell the cells what to do, how to make a leg, what does a leg look like.”

He said he and his colleagues believe that “exploiting the native intelligence” of cells to trigger natural regrowth may point a way forward for the development of similar techniques for use in human amputees.

One challenge with human limb regeneration is that our bodies tend to produce a mass of scar tissue at the wound site. The tissue helps stop blood loss and prevent infection but may also prevent the regrowth of limb tissue. The new research suggests that capping the stump with a BioDome immediately following amputation might help interrupt that process.

“This is the point when the cells are trying to decide, ‘Are we going to seal the wound and sit tight? Are we going to regenerate?’ ” Dr. Levin said. “Right at that process is the opportunity to change their plan.”

The combination of drugs used in the research, and their dosages, was just a first guess, according to Dr. Levin. “If our first guess was this good, imagine what the sort of final optimized version some years from now is going to look like,” he said, adding that optimization of the drugs might lead to improved functionality of regrown frog limbs.

Amphibian amputees are a world apart from humans with missing limbs, and Dr. Levin said clinical trials of the approach remained a distant goal. But he and Dr. McCusker agreed that the new findings have important implications. The approach used in the new study could “unlock” regenerative medicine approaches for organs as well as limbs, he said, adding that the next few decades will likely herald clinical applications.

“This is sort of way beyond limb regeneration,” Dr. Levin said. “It’s about finding these triggers for collective cell behavior.”
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On a shorter timeline, Dr. Levin said, a similar treatment could help human amputees by improving the quality of skin, blood vessels and nerves on their stumps and thereby improving the fit and function of prosthetic limbs. He and another study co-author, Tufts University biomedical engineer David Kaplan, recently co-founded a company that aims to develop the BioDome technology for use in clinical applications. Next steps include testing different drug cocktails and studying the technology in mammals, according to Dr. Levin.

“What’s in the paper is nowhere near ready for human trials,” he said. “But I think in my lifetime we are going to see something like this in patients.”

More than 2 million Americans are living with limb loss, the U.S. Amputee Coalition reported in April last year. That number is expected to rise to 3.6 million by 2050. Limbs are lost as a result of injury, and vascular disease, diabetes and cancer sometimes necessitate amputation. Artificial limbs have become more sophisticated in recent years, but doctors have never found a way for humans to regrow missing limbs.
42 male
main symptoms are hollow feeling shaft
scar tissue on corporas shown on ultrasound
Loss of girth, weak flaccid skin sensitive


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What a great find. Of course Frogs are just a teensy bit different from humans so progress with this might take a while to implicate on humans, it's still wonderful to know we're just now identifying the processes to motivate cells to regenerate lost tissue
24 yrs old    Descended from Heaven on 11/27/97

Severe pain and shape changes started on Nov 30th, 2020 from injury

Shape was back to normal by December 2021
Still have some pain but hoping that will eventually go away too =D

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