Regrowing Amputated Limbs Is Getting Closer to Medical Reality

Dr. Laurencin was recently featured in Leaps Magazine where he spoke about The Hartford Engineering A Limb (HEAL) project aiming to regenerate/grow an entire human limb by 2030.


As a surgeon-scientist and pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering, Dr. Laurencin’s laboratory research successes already include the growth of bone and knee ligaments. HEAL hopes to help wounded warriors as well as others who have lost limbs or experienced nerve damage. Such as those with amputations or even children born with missing or impaired limbs. Laurencin’s international grand research challenge of his Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health is a collaboration with top regenerative engineers at UConn, The University of California Irvine, professors at Harvard University, Columbia University, and Sastra University in India. The HEAL project is further supported by the work of dedicated multidisciplinary teams of research fellows, scientists and clinicians. The project is supported by Laurencin’s large grants from the NIH’s Pioneer Award and the National Science Foundation for Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation. “The HEAL Project is a transformative moment for science and medicine,” says Laurencin about the first international effort ever for knee and limb engineering.


Read the full story here: Regrowing Limbs is Getting Closer to Medical Medical Reality


Dr. Cato T. Laurencin and His Team Make Groundbreaking Advancements in Unlocking the Potential of Fibroblast Growth Factor for Tissue Regeneration

FARMINGTON – Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the Connecticut Convergence for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health Institute and his team have published a new article on how fibroblast growth factor eight (FGF-8) can control stem cells in regenerating musculoskeletal tissue. FGF-8 is an important biological molecule that plays a significant role in the formation of extremities during early development as well as during the regeneration of amputated limbs in some animals such as salamanders.

This historical use of FGF-8 sparked Dr. Laurencin and his team to investigate the role of FGF-8 in controlling the different types of tissue in the arms and legs. The team was able to demonstrate that FGF-8 stimulated similar signaling pathways in stem cells as seen during limb development, and was able to direct the formation of musculoskeletal tissue.

Furthermore, with the increasing attention towards the role of local fat in the knee joint and its contribution to inflammation, the application of FGF-8 may help in curbing the progression of osteoarthritis.

According to the World Health Organization, by 2050, 130 million people will suffer from Osteoarthritis worldwide, of whom 40 million will be severely disabled by the disease. “We are eager to see how the evolution of this research improves global public health.” says Dr. Laurencin.

This research was supported by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases under award number DP1AR068147.

To learn more, view the newly published article here.

Lakshmi Nair Edits Book on Injectable Hydrogels

Injectable Hydrogels for Regenerative EngineeringI am pleased to announce IRE faculty member Lakshmi Nair recently served as editor of a new book, Injectable Hydrogels for Regenerative Engineering.

Regenerative engineering, with its ability to foster novel therapeutic techniques and strategies, has emerged as the most versatile and innovative technology of the 21st century. The past few years have seen significant research interest in the design, preparation, and application of injectable hydrogels as advanced biomaterials for cell and factor therapy. This book is timely, providing a state-of-the-art summary of the status of injectable hydrogels in regenerative engineering. The collection of ten chapters written by experts in their fields presents an excellent overview of the subject for a wide audience. In my opinion, this book will be extremely useful as a reference source for all those working in the area of biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery.

New Issue of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

I am very pleased to announce the second issue of the Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine has been published. I thank all the editors, editorial board members, reviewers, and editorial staff. Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine is an international journal mainly devoted to the publication of original studies and research on regenerative engineering.

In this new issue, we have assembled an excellent selection of original articles. Dr. Justin Brown of Penn State University created a novel biodegradable scaffold system with unique crisscross fiber geometry for tendon and ligament tissue engineering. Dr. Dinesh Srinivasan of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore demonstrated the addition of silk fibroin and minocycline hydrochloride to polycaprolactone-based scaffolds potentially enhanced adipose-derived stem cells differentiation into osteogenesis. Dr. Samir Mitragotri of UC Santa Barbara developed novel peptide-based technologies for treating skin disease. Dr. Evan Scott at Northwestern reviewed recent progress in the use of nanomaterials designed to enhance imaging and therapeutic intervention of atherosclerotic inflammation. In addition, there is a News and Views article edited by Dr. Ali Khademhosseini of Harvard University.

I hope you will find this issue of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine informative. Please consider submitting your work to this promising academic venue.

The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Goes Bimonthly

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

I am happy to announce our flagship journal, The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, will move from quarterly publication to bimonthly, starting in 2017. Since its official launch in July 2013, we have received an impressive number of high quality submissions from scholars all over the world. We have published articles in all areas of racial and ethnic health disparities. Importantly, our journal was accepted for indexing by PubMed/Medline in October 2015.

The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities will continue to update the community on new research findings, commentaries, insights, and discussions that are relevant to the health disparities. I congratulate all our associates: editors, editorial board members, reviewers, and editorial staff for their outstanding work in achieving this milestone.

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Accepted for Indexing by MEDLINE

I am very happy to announce that the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (JREHD) has been accepted for inclusion and indexing in MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine database of indexed citations and abstracts.

We submitted a very strong application for inclusion in MEDLINE. Our acceptance reflects the great quality of the articles that have been published, and the excellence of our editorial board, reviewers, and authors.

First Issue of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine

I am pleased to announce the successful launch of the first issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine (RETM). Published by Springer International Publishing AG, the goal of this multidisciplinary journal is serving as a platform to discuss the convergence of advanced materials sciences, stem cell sciences, physics, developmental biology and clinical translation to develop novel regenerative strategies. The journal presents a premier, peer-reviewed forum for the publication of original papers, news and views, authoritative reviews, rapid communications and opinion papers addressing the important challenges and approaches to successfully regenerate complex tissues and organ systems. I would like to express my gratitude to the Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, and editorial staff. I hope you enjoy this premiere issue of RETM and will consider submitting your future work to this new transformative journal.

First Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine Article Published

I am pleased to announce the first article in our journal, Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine (RETM) was published online in early September. “Are All Adult Stem Cells The Same?” was written by Professor Arnold I. Caplan at Case Western University. Published by Springer and guided by an internationally recognized editorial team, RETM seeks to bring the best of regenerative engineering research to an international audience. As editor-in-chief, I welcome the submission of manuscripts on any subject within the area of regenerative engineering and translational medicine, especially those related to the topic of regenerating complex human tissues and organs. To see the new articles, please visit RETM’s home page. All articles published in 2015 and 2016 can be permanently downloaded at no cost.