The biological forearm prostheses of a rat and baboon were obtained by a team in Boston (United States) under the supervision of Dr. Harald Ott at Massachusetts General Hospital. This American team succeeded in reconstructing the limbs from stem cells. The report of this experiment was published in the Biomaterials journal.
The forearms were constructed using a “destruction-reconstruction” technique, already used in 2008 to transplant a donor trachea inoculated with the patient’s own cells. This involved “destroying” the cells of the amputated forearm in order to obtain a skeletal structure before proceeding to repopulate forearm tissue cells by injecting stem cells belonging to the patient.
However, the team did not manage to reconstitute an entirely functioning limb, only the muscular and vascular sections.One of the future challenges will be to make the prosthesis viable once implanted. Furthermore, this method is based on the pre-existence of a limb – hence it does not resolve the problem associated with the shortage of donors.
 Gènéthique Note: In regenerative medicine, other tests were carried out using a “biodegradable matrix”, which guides stem cells (Dr. A. Atala, Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine) and circumvents the graft problem.
Journal International de Médecine (Aurélie Haroche) 9/06/2015 – Le Figaro Santé (Nicolas Plantey) 8/06/2015