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Mother Nature has provided the lizard with a unique ability to regrow body tissue that is damaged or torn ― if its tail is pulled off, it grows right back. She has not been quite so generous with human beings. But we might be able to come close, thanks to new research from Tel Aviv University.
Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU's Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a new biologically active "scaffold" made from soluble fibers, which may help humans replace lost or missing bone. With more research, she says, it could also serve as the basic technology for regenerating other types of human tissues, including muscle, arteries, and skin.
"The bioactive agents that spur bone and tissue to regenerate are available to us. The problem is that no technology has been able to effectively deliver them to the tissue surrounding that missing bone," says Prof. Zilberman. Her artificial and flexible scaffolding connects tissues together as it releases growth-stimulating drugs to the place where new bone or tissue is needed ― like the scaffolding that surrounds an existing building when additions to that building are made.
Scientific peer-reviewed research on this scaffold fiber has appeared in a number of journals, including Acta Biomaterialia, and is currently being licensed through Ramot, TAU's technology transfer company.