Bioengineers are developing methods to grow new arms for monkeys using human progenitor cells that can become blood cells, vessels, and other tissue.
Lead researcher Harald Ott at at Massachusetts General Hospital previously regenerated a rat's limb. The limb is grown on a minimal "scaffold" infused with the progenitor cells. There's a long way to go before the technique could be used to regenerate limbs and organs for people.
"[We need] to show we can apply this process to limbs of human scale," says Ott.
The idea is to create limbs made up of cells from the amputee's own body to produce an arm -- or one day leg -- tailored to them and therefore unlikely to be attacked by their immune system.
"If it works out you could regenerate ... on demand," says Ott.
"Out on a limb: Pioneering scientists grow monkey arms in the lab"
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