Saturday, November 10, 2018

Advancements in Biotechnology Forward Discoveries of Regeneration in Frogs

Regeneration is a complex topic that truly involves intricate unsolved processes and is way more than just what meets the eye in beloved science fiction novels. Nevertheless, what has once seemed unattainable, has now become a plausible reality for the distant future. Researchers from the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University had created a device that is responsible for the partial hindlimb regeneration in the species Xenopus laevis. Due to this, this aquatic African frog species may now become one of the prime models for testing newly developed cell-stimulating therapies.
In order to induce tissue repair at the amputation site, a team of scientists used a 3D printer to construct a bioreactor made of silicon. This structure was then filled with a hydrogel that was laced with silk proteins and progesterone. The combination of the three produces a thick substance filled with polymers that promote healing, regeneration, and nerve and bone tissue repair. 
The researches then conducted an experiment where the bioreactor was applied to the experimental group of frogs immediately after amputation. The results of the study allowed them to conclude that frogs from the experimental group resulted in bigger and more structured appendages than those in the control group. Upon further analysis and RNA sequencing, it was reported that the application of the bioreactor at the amputation site resulted in altered gene expression of the cells in that specific area. Additionally, collected observation of the frogs revealed that those from the experimental group had swimming techniques that most closely matched frogs that did not undergo amputation.

From reading this article, it provides one with a bright outlook for the future. As a next step, the researchers plan on implementing this work within mammals as the next. In doing so, I feel as if that will give crucial information as to whether or not this experiment could truly further the path towards a more wholesome regeneration of larger structures such as entire limbs. Unfortunately, as of now many species with regenerative properties are mainly aquatic. However whether successful in mammals or not I feel as if this experiment remains beneficial for it helps forward discoveries in techniques used for cell therapy.


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