December 22, 2008

Army scientists examine body self-healing

The saw Physician, heal thyself may yield to Body, heal thyself as U.S. army scientists study skin regeneration and other self-healing technologies.

Regenerative science was one of several technologies showcased at the recent 26th Army Science Convention in Orlando, Fla. The 4-day gathering provides a form to exchange ideas and highlight collaborative projects between Army research labs, universities and business partners, CNN reported Monday.

The Army's regenerative medicine study combined properties from the intestinal lining and the urinary bladder to create a regenerative substance called Extracellular Matrix, a crystal substance that boosts the body's tendency to repair itself, U.S. Army Biological Scientist Sgt. Gen Rossman told CNN. When applied to a missing digit or limb, the body thinks it's back in the womb, Rossman said.

Through both animal studies and human clinical trials, the institute is developing therapies for soldiers injured by roadside bombs and other explosives in Afghanistan and Iraq, CNN said.

We are working on trying to regenerate limbs, to repair limbs and to keep them from being amputated, said Col. Bob Vandre, project director for the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Armed Forces Institute scientists said they also developed a process to rebuild missing or damaged bone.