Man loses part of his finger, scientists make it grow back again

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Man loses part of his finger, scientists make it grow back again

This is astonishing. A man loses the end of his finger in an accident and by sprinkling a dust on i it grew back in 4 weeks.

The photos of his severed finger tip are pretty graphic. You can understand why doctors said he'd lost it for good.

Today though, you wouldn't know it. Mr Spievak, who is 69 years old, shows off his finger, and it's all there, tissue, nerves, nail, skin, even his finger print.

How? Well that's the truly remarkable part. It wasn't a transplant. Mr Spievak re-grew his finger tip. He used a powder - or pixie dust as he sometimes refers to it while telling his story.

Mr Speivak's brother Alan - who was working in the field of regenerative medicine - sent him the powder.

For ten days Mr Spievak put a little on his finger.
... Quote:
The second time I put it on I already could see growth. Each day it was up further. Finally it closed up and was a finger.

It took about four weeks before it was sealed.
Now he says he has "complete feeling, complete movement."

The "pixie dust" comes from the University of Pittsburgh, though in the lab Dr Stephen Badylak prefers to call it extra cellular matrix.

The process he has been pioneering over the last few years involves scraping the cells from the lining of a pig's bladder.

The remaining tissue is then placed into acid, "cleaned" of all cells, and dried out.

It can be turned into sheets, or a powder.

It looks like a simple process, but of course the science is complex.

"There are all sorts of signals in the body," explains Dr Badylak.

"We have got signals that are good for forming scar, and others that are good for regenerating tissues.

"One way to think about these matrices is that we have taken out many of the stimuli for scar tissue formation and left those signals that were always there anyway for constructive remodelling."

In other words when the extra cellular matrix is put on a wound, scientists believe it stimulates cells in the tissue to grow rather than scar.

If they can perfect the technique, it might mean one day they could repair not just a severed finger, but severely burnt skin, or even damaged organs.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/...

regrow-finger.jpg - 17.4kb
By netchicken: posted on 1-5-2008








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