Frankenstein treatment ‘to regrow limbs’
Experiments with echoes of Frankenstein suggest electricity could one day be used to regenerate tissue and regrow lost limbs.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen believe electric currents and fields hold the key to major advances in tissue engineering.
In the distant future they may even help people with severed limbs, such as victims of industrial accidents or soldiers, to grow new arms and legs.
Electrical stimulus has already shown some success in stimulating sensory nerve regrowth in people with damaged spinal cords.
There is also evidence that bio-electric fields play a role in regenerating lost fingertips, especially in children.
But the importance of electricity in wound healing and tissue repair has been largely overlooked because of its association with Victorian quackery and Frankenstein, according to Dr Ann Rajnicek.
“Electricity is key. It’s something that has been under- appreciated,” she said. “But people still think of Frankenstein and the Victorian age.
“Even when you try to sell the idea to a research funding agency, they say, ‘Oh no, I’m not sure about that’.”
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