The University of Connecticut (or UConn) has teamed up with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) with the pursuit of exploring the science of Regenerating Human Limbs. It is a new revolutionary project in sharing the advancements in tissue engineering and the technologies in limb regeneration.
The ARMI is aiming to increase the growth and the actual use of human engineered tissues and organs. This will allow the expanding needs and demands of the nation’s people including soldiers.
Thus with the objective of speeding up the development of human organs and tissues that can be transplanted into the patient.
The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute
ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute) has an investment of both public and private funds reaching nearly $300 million ($USD). The institute, which is to be based in Manchester Millyard, is bringing together ‘a consortium’ of nearly 100 partner organizations. Pulling together from across the industry, the non-profit sector, academia and government to develop a new generation of manufacturing processes and technologies for tissues, cells and organs.
It was in December of 2016 that the US. Department of Defence announced its intentions of providing $80 million over a 5 year period for this newly created bio-engineering and manufacturing research organization. In a previous article I wrote about how the US. Military and DARPA (Pentagon research wing) set up an institute into what is known as AFIRM, standing for the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
UConn and HEAL
I wrote an article back in November of 2015 about the work of Dr Cato T. Laurencin at UConn (the University of Connecticut), where I detailed his wonderful research. Dr. Laurencin is an internationally acclaimed scientist and surgeon, and in the field of Human Limb Regeneration.
He is also the chief executive officer of CICATS (Connecticut Institute for Clinical Translational Science) at UConn. Along with being the director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biological Engineering Sciences at UConn Health. You can read more about Dr Laurencin’s background here.
Dr Cato Laurencin mentioned that it is exciting to “…collaborate with ARMI to lend our expertise to our country and push our regenerative engineering discoveries and breakthroughs closer to the bedsides of soldiers and Americans in need of vital medical care.”
As I discussed in the link to the article I mentioned above, UConn are in the creative endeavour of regenerating a human knee within the next 6 years and to regrow an entire functional limb by 2030. Laurencin is the brainchild behind the project that is known as HEAL, this stands for Hartford Engineering A Limb and was launched in November of 2015.
It is the first coordinated effort on a international level for limb and knee engineering.
Dr. Laurencin is known as a leading pioneer in the field of medical sciences and regenerative engineering.
His laboratory involve and specialize in the regeneration and engineering of knee ligaments and bone regrowth.
Partnership and Innovation
There are many collaborators undertaking innovation that are in partnership with Advance Regenerative Manufacturing Institute and this includes Lakshmi S. Nair.
She is known for her advance research in growing musculoskeletal tissue done at UConn in the Institute for Regenerative Engineering.
This new initiative for ARMI at UConn is pulling in great support from scientists like Dr. Bruce T. Liang, a specialist in the school of medicine and Kazem Kazerounian, a specialist in the school of engineering. Along with Jeff Seermann whom is the vice president at UConn for development and research.
The aim of UConn is that with joining forces with ARMI is a powerful mission to bring together the country’s most highly skilled researchers to push forward the advancement of discoveries in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue bioengineering.
As Seermann mentions this will help in “…bringing these promising, much needed breakthroughs to patients in their clinical care…”
I mentioned above that I wrote an article about Dr Cato T. Laurencin at UConn on a new powerful new project that they were undertaking to Regrow Human Limbs By 2030 and to regenerate a human knee in 7 or 8 years. I would say that this latest development is a follow up to what I wrote about in November 2015, so it is worth reading that article to.
If you want to know more about Dr. Laurencin’s research into Tissue Engineering and Limb Regeneration the following presentation done at TEDx is highly recommended.
He discusses in detail his work on regenerative engineering, where we are in a period of advance prosthetics but now science is evolving from this into regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
Laurencin talks about the challenges that are connected with musculoskeletal regeneration. This is on tissues like ligament, cartilage and bone, that now can be understood from a cellular perspective up to the tissue level.
Thus allowing the capability to generate these tissues through what he calls tissue engineering methods.
Dr. Cato Laurencin is a professor at the University of Connecticut and specializes in Biomolecular, Chemical and Materials Engineering. He is internationally known as an Orthopedic surgeon and is one of the great pioneers in the emerging new science of regenerative engineering.
The next ten years will see a massive expansion at an unprecedented rate in the regeneration of these musculoskeletal tissues.
What do you think about this article and research? Do let me know in the comments below of your thoughts.