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New Rat Limb Grown from Extracellular Matrix

A newer technique, according to CBS News, called decellularization, has been used to create a new rat limb from a deceased rat donor. Decellularization is a method where scientist take the extracellular matrix of the donor cells and use that as the scaffold for the new limb. Then, the rats own stem cells were added to the extracellular matrix, and the new limb began to grow. During testing, the new leg had muscles that contracted at 80% the strength of the rat’s other original muscles. This advance in biomedical engineering could potentially help the 185,000 amputations that occur each year. Doctors are hoping that even if full limb regeneration may still be a ways off, that this method can be employed to help people who have had parts of their body damaged by accidents such as burns, or surgical procedures like cancer removal.

 

Read the article on CBS News.