Researchers from the University of Texas College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have identified a new factor needed for limb regeneration. Previously, it was believed that this requires favorable growth and the presence of nerves in the damaged area. The results of the work are described in an article published in the journal Science Direct.
During the study, the scientists hung the injured limbs of animals with preserved nerve endings to reduce the load. It turned out that even such manipulations did not allow regeneration to be activated. Despite this, with the resumption of movement and the appearance of a mechanical load, regeneration was restored. The researchers then removed the nerves from the fingers of the laboratory mice and added mechanical stress. The test showed the beginning of regeneration on the test limb. Scientists have not yet been able to identify the mechanism for the occurrence of such a phenomenon, so they plan to continue research. They also want to try applying the results to humans.
In April, a team of British experts 3D printed a robotic finger that has a touch similar to that of human skin. In the future, this device can be used as a prosthesis.