A forearm of a dead rat was reportedly grown in a lab by a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
The tiny "biolimb" was attached to a live rat, which was able to move his paw after successful blood circulation.
Dr. Harald Ott, the researcher who grew the limb, said, "We're focusing on the forearm and hand to use it as a model system and proof of principle, but the techniques would apply equally to legs, arms and other extremities," noted the New Scientist.
"This is the first attempt to make a biolimb, and I'm not aware of any other technology able to generate a composite tissue of this complexity," Ott added.
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Ott washed a forearm from a deceased rat to get rid of the original soft tissue, and injected healthy blood vessel and muscle cells into the appendage, reports the Daily Mail.
The rat limb grew blood vessels and muscles within in two to three weeks while in an incubation jar.
Ott is planning to try the same technique on baboon arms, but added that it could be a decade before human biolimbs will be tested. However, this breakthrough could theoretically help human amputees.
Dr. Daniel Weiss, who specializes in lung regeneration at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, stated, "This is science fiction coming to life. It's a very exciting development, but the challenge will be to create a functioning limb," reports the New Scientist.