In a controversial announcement the University of Connecticut (UConn) revealed it will regrow human limbs within 15 years. Along with the regeneration of a human knee within 7 years.
The Institute for Regenerative Engineering made this announcement today on Remembrance or Veteran’s Day which is very appropriate as we remember all those whom have lost lives in combat.
Also we must think of those whom have suffered life changing injures serving and protecting their country. The aim of this global initiative is to find a breakthrough to regrow human limbs for amputees.
This powerful international research project, which is called The Hartford Engineering A Limb or The HEAL Project. It is the core essence of Dr Cato T. Laurencin’s work at UConn. He is a leading surgeon and scientist in orthopedic surgery, engineering and the emerging field of regenerative engineering.
I came across Dr. Laurencin back in 2013 when I started extensively researching into human limb regeneration after the Boston Bombings. His laboratory research successes include the growth of bone and knee ligaments.
The following video is an interview of Dr Laurencin by the media where he outlines his research in limb regeneration. This interview was recorded in 2013. Highly recommended and fascinating.
Dr. Laurencin and his team are in collaboration with top experts in the fields of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and bioengineering. Their mission is to push forward with the developing fields of medical science and emerging new therapies for the patient. Benefiting and helping people living with limb loss and limb injuries along with musculoskeletal defects.
HEAL’s other scientists involved in this effort include, Professor David M. Gardiner of UC Irvine. I had an email correspondence with Prof. Gardiner back in 2013 when I was researching developments in limb regeneration after the Boston Bombings.
I will be covering Gardiner’s limb regeneration research in the Mexican Axolotl Salamander in a separate write up. David Gardiner whom is a scientist, studies Salamanders extensively at the lab in UC Irvine. He is one of the leading scientists with decades of research into regeneration.
Salamanders can regenerate body parts and scar free healing, they can also regenerate parts of their brain. Professor Gardiner has been brought into the research project, HEAL, to provide input into important cells in mammals that support regeneration.
Other lead investigators of HEAL are professors from Harvard University, Colombia University and Sastra University of India. Along with collaboration efforts form Dr. Lakshmi Nair and Dr. Yusuf Khan of UConn.
In an effort to accelerate the project’s mission, the researchers will be supported by 10 dedicated research fellows, a team of scientists and clinicians in orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, tissue engineering and rehabilitation medicine, coming across from UConn.
In addition new alliances in clinical research will be formed with both international and national experts from across medical science, technology and surgery.
According to UConn whom made this research public, interviewed Dr. Laurencin, and he reveals:
“The launch of the HEAL Project is a transformative moment for science and medicine… This is the first international effort ever for knee and limb engineering.”
“The time is now to pursue this much needed super, grand challenge to benefit those patients suffering from debilitating knee injuries, osteoarthritis, or affected by the devastating effects of limb injury or loss, such as our military heroes wounded in combat.”
I think it is very awesome of them to make this announcement on Veterans Day as we remind ourselves of those who are less fortunate in combat giving their lives to serve and protect the good life of their country.
The Future Is Now
Significantly, Dr Cato Laurencin, reveals that, patients whom have had amputations due to diabetes, bone cancer, devastating infections, accident trauma and even children born with malfunctioning or missing limbs. All these patients could benefit from the future breakthroughs in this highly creative project and research.
While Laurencin has successfully regrown bone and ligaments, he predicts it will take 7 to 15 years for the first knee regeneration followed by limb regeneration fueled by pioneering breakthroughs in science.
To achieve this ambitious endeavor, HEAL will be building on the latest developments in technologies, stem cell research and regenerative biology.
However, here is the most important part I feel that has huge implications. They will be looking at initiating clinical trials to test and validate any new promising novel treatments. Clearly medical science is never going to be the same again.
It is one thing to be talking about limb regeneration and for scientists to be seriously funding and researching in the laboratory. After all it was not that long ago that this was very much a far fetch concept only existing in the realms of science fiction. However, today we have a whole different ball game where research is now making its way out of the lab and the talk of clinical trials eventually.
To say that this is a game changer in human regeneration treatments is a putting it mildly. HEAL and UConn have my full and unconditional support.
We can expect hear more form Dr. Laurencin and the HEAL project that he founded with his recent $4 million Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health for his research into regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. He also receives support from a number of channels and institutions in the health sciences.
Dr. Cato Laurencin Credentials
The following video presentation is Dr. Laurencin discussing his passion in his medical research. He also highlights the importance of mentoring and how to discover your passion in life.
We need more people like Dr. Cato Laurencin!
I like the quote he gives about be willing to take a chance in life. To see where it all leads. That 99% people don’t take action and end up owning nothing, but the 1% who take action own everything.
He also points out the important of integrity and to be a good and transparent person. It is also good to be positive and be inspired.
Is Regrowing a Limb Far Fetched?
Not any more. Naysayers will always express some negativity. But I have learned in my own journey that such people are not willing to think out of the box. People like Dr. Cato Laurencin and Dr Gardiner have a vision that goes beyond the paradigm.
People with big dreams will always go far and they are always successful.
Imagine life is a mountain. As you climb up the mountain, you get a more bigger picture of the landscape, looking at the horizon. You also have the experience of what challenges and experiences have been obtained climbing higher.
However, people further down the mountain, can not see what others higher up can perceive. So those with a greater understanding are always looked with skepticism with those whom have a lesser vision operating further down the mountain.
This is how progress and research into new innovative ideas develop. The project discussed here in limb regeneration is breaking into new frontiers of science and medical research.
What is your opinion on this topic? Do you think we are on a mega breakthrough soon, that will transform the lives of people whom suffer from limb loss and spinal injuries?