World’s First Lab-Grown Biolimb developed

World’s First Lab-Grown Biolimb developed

A team from Massachusetts General Hospital said they have taken the first step towards creating artificial replacement limbs. The researchers have grown the world’s first lab-grown biolimb.

The journal Biomaterials-published research unveiled that the researchers have developed bioartificial rat forelimbs with functioning vascular and muscle tissue. Study’s author Dr. Harald Ott said that the small pink rat leg is a step forward in the future of artificial limbs.

Using the technique called decellularization the research team built the leg. The technique involved taking out living cells from the limbs of dead donors to expose their scaffolds. After this process, they planted the cells that make blood vessels and muscles on the scaffolds.

They then put the entire thing in a specially designed bioreactor and left it to grow for two weeks. The researchers then grafted skin on the leg and they were ready with a home-grown rat limb. Only requirement was of a rat to attach to it.

Ott noticed that blood circulated through vessels of their artificial legs and found to be positive thing that biolimbs can work as a replacement for limbs lost in accidents or amputations. Ott said that their next step will be to replicate the success in muscle regeneration with human cells and expanding it to other tissue types.

“What we really hope is that this will raise enough interest with groups that are specialized on muscle, specialized on bone, specialized on cartilage, so they can bring their knowledge to create the best composite”, said experts.