Army Technology Regrows Limbs And Digits
A new technology developed by the US Army is leading the field in regrowing limbs...
No doubt about it, robotics are swiftly become a part of the military’s arsenal. But with all the focus on engineering robotics to help the wounded and save lives, regenerating or regrowing a limb still sounds like science fiction.
But thanks to innovative technology developed by the U.S. Army, such regrowths are possible today.
Unveiled at the 26th Army Science Convention, the Army’s regenerative medicine study showed that by combining properties from the intestinal lining and the urinary bladder, scientists can create a regenerative substance called Extracellular Matrix.
“Our goal is to restore the function to our wounded warriors who have given so much in battle,” Vandre said.
This cream-colored crystallized powder, also known as “magic dust,” boosts the body’s natural ability to repair itself,
U.S. Army Biological Scientist Sgt. Glen Rossman said:
“[When the matrix is applied to a missing digit or limb] the body thinks it’s back in the womb,”
One civilian participated in the regenerative-medicine study after cutting off the tip of his finger in a model plane’s propeller. After four weeks of continually applying the matrix, he was able to grow skin and tissue in the damaged area.
The U.S. military have already begun teaming up with private institutions to further develop treatments for severely injured troops.
With the help of grants, the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine is studying nerve and vein transplantation, treating burns without scarring and regeneration of tissue, skin and even bone.
Institute Project Director Col. Bob Vandre said:
“We are working on trying to regenerate limbs, to repair limbs and to keep them from being amputated,”
Army scientists also have developed an skin substitute made from patients’ own cells. The substitute can grow several times larger than its original size, covering wounds or burns and protecting it from infection. Researchers hope the skin substitue will in future be able to cover larger areas of the body.
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