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Author Topic: Why can't I get a new finger?  (Read 442 times)

Offline Tommy92101

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Why can't I get a new finger?
« on: 02/09/2016 18:18:09 »
Hello, My finger was lost after getting caught in a motorcycle chain. They weren't able to reattach it because there was too much damage. Why can't we grow a new one for me in a lab? Could they use a finger from an organ donor? I wouldn't want one that way, but just curious if that's technically possible.

My index finger was reattached but I cannot bend it.

Thanks :)
« Last Edit: 02/09/2016 18:21:39 by Tommy92101 »


 

Offline RD

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Re: Why can't I get a new finger?
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/2016 23:12:46 »
... Could they use a finger from an organ donor? I wouldn't want one that way, but just curious if that's technically possible ...

Transplanting appendages from donors is possible ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penis_transplantation  8Čo
But generally the risk (and expense) of continuous immune-suppression (to stop rejection) wouldn't be worthwhile.

It's possible to have false-fingers attached like false-teeth: via titanium implants ...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809647/
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Why can't I get a new finger?
« Reply #2 on: 02/09/2016 23:40:30 »
If you lost a finger-tip when you were under 5 years old, it would regrow itself (provided that medical intervention did not block the growing tip, eg with a skin graft).

However, we seem to lose that ability as adults.

The Axolotl and Salamander are famous for being able to regrow a whole limb or tail, and researchers are trying to work out how they are different from humans. One difference seems to be that humans produce a lot of fibrous scar tissue, which blocks the ability of existing cells to replicate themselves and grow a new finger (or limb).

See 4 minute video on axolotl limb regrowth at:
15 minute Podcast at: http://www.sciencefriday.com/episodes/august-26-2016/
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Why can't I get a new finger?
« Reply #3 on: 04/09/2016 01:18:22 »
Hello, My finger was lost after getting caught in a motorcycle chain. They weren't able to reattach it because there was too much damage. Why can't we grow a new one for me in a lab? Could they use a finger from an organ donor? I wouldn't want one that way, but just curious if that's technically possible.

My index finger was reattached but I cannot bend it.

Thanks :)
It would seem to be quite possible nowadays. People who have lost a significant fraction of both of her arms had two arms from a donor attached to them. The surgery was done at Brigham and Women's hospital. Cf. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/11/26/will-lautzenheiser-has-successful-double-arm-transplant-brigham-and-women-hospital/HN36G2HKIIeNxbdz3VeU3J/story.html

I can't see why it couldn't be done with a single finger.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2016 01:25:08 by PmbPhy »
 

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Re: Why can't I get a new finger?
« Reply #3 on: 04/09/2016 01:18:22 »

 

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