Activating limb regrowth in humans based on the Amphibian regeneration model and stem cells

Valmir Zimberi, Lucas Schütt Nielsen, Natasha Gloria Efua Serwaa Kodua, Kristine Halfdan Ferning & Mathias Widerberg Andersen

Studenteropgave: Basisprojekt


The ability for some animal species to perfectly regenerate entire limbs has been subject to fascination for centuries, and we are to this day still only on the verge of discovering the way to activate this response in humans.
Regeneration of limbs is a mechanism that is activated in response to amputation, wherein mature cells lose their differentiated characteristics through a process called dedifferentiation. These cells are now considered mesenchymal and will gather into a blastema, which will first proliferate and then reorganize and redifferentiate into the specific cells needed to form the missing limb. This process is not available to mammals, including humans, so this investigation seeks to understand what triggers the regenerative response and how to activate said response in humans.
To do this, this study was carried out through a literary research, whereby we studied the amphibian regeneration model and translated it onto the mammalian healing process by focusing on gene expressions to understand the process at a genetic level. We also investigated the use of stem cell therapy and its capability to help guide the activation of regeneration in mammals.
Through the study of gene expressions, we came to know which genes are vital in both the activation and the maintaining of a successful limb regeneration, and even how this is actually being implemented in mammals, like mice, through the application of different growth factors.
Furthermore, we also found that mature mammalian cells are able to be dedifferentiated into stem cells, specifically induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and induced multipotent stem cells (iMSCs) for this paper, and then redifferentiated into the cells needed to repair or replace damaged tissues.
Our findings led to the conclusion that limb regeneration in humans is actually a feasible goal and few of the studied techniques within genetic engineering and stem cell therapy have gone or are going into human trials.

UddannelserBasis - International Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato20 dec. 2016
Antal sider30
VejledereOle Skovgaard


  • Regeneration