Now that the Iraq war is over and troops are coming back home, scientists recur to many more unusual methods to heal soldiers’ wounds. Some of these treatments presuppose ear, skin and bone transplant, as well as extreme plastic surgeries, according to the Associated Press.
The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine is the institution that was purposefully created to take care of the wounded veterans that are now coming home at the end of the Iraq war. The institution funded through taxes, has been preoccupied lately with researches related to extreme methods of treatment.
Some veterans have already tested these treatments in order to overcome their physical disabilities. Since the majority of them have lost different face organs, scientists are now growing ears, skin and bones in their labs in order to reconstruct their patients’ faces.
The most interesting techniques of tissue regrowth have been discovered in Pittsburgh, Boston, San Antonio and Los Angeles. Veteran Michael Mills’ nose, for instance, was rebuilt after surgeons in Los Angeles used part of his forehead to create tissue in their labs. In the future, however, pig tissue could also be used to replace skin that was damaged in bomb explosions. The experiment was first performed in Pittsburgh, where Ron Strang’s thigh muscle was regrown with the help of cells taken from pigs.
Skin is not the only organ that is being recreated in labs, but also ears. Doctors obtained their first lab-grown ears after several experiments performed on sheep and rats. The ears that were transplanted on veterans, however, were grown out of soldiers’ remaining ear cells. These organs look natural and are much more resistant than the ones that are usually artificially created.
Researches financed by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine have enabled doctors to provide veterans with new bionic hands. Several transplants have turned out successful by now and scientists plan to develop similar techniques for the replacement of lost feet.