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Amputation; nowadays, has been most commonly done as a last resort to certain chronic illnesses like diabetes and certain infections. This procedure is done so as to lessen the pain or stop chronic inflammation caused by harmful microorganisms. With this, researchers have been striving on a breakthrough that can lessen the burden of amputees in their activities of daily living.
Just recently, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital created the very first laboratory grown biolimb. This limb comes from a rat that had dead muscles and veins. But, with the help of a number of tests and interventions, researchers have found out that this previously dead muscle can come into life, and can even be controlled.
What did these scholars do? First, they got some living cells from a dead rat’s body through decellularization. After this, they immersed the limb in a cleansing solution for about seven days. In another specimen, the vascular and muscle cells were allowed to grow in a separate culture. After a week, these cells were then placed into the limb structure through the process of recellularization.
Consequently, a nutrient solution that contains bioreactor was where the limb was put for about two weeks. Inside the solution, electrical impulses were continuously given for five days, so as to hasten muscle formation.
After the laboratory processes were finished, the limb was then attached to legs of living rats. And then, after a series of observations, it was found out that circulation from the living rat also went into the new limb’s veins.
These results have given amputees a positive view of their condition. That, along with further studies, can allow this experiment to be done using a human limb. Also, when this happens, robotics would be of higher edge. This is because, compared to robotics, this breakthrough is less artificial and more realistic.