Researchers aim to regenerate human knees and limbs by 2030

Cato LaurencinOn Veteran's Day the University of Connecticut announced the launch of its new grand research challenge: regeneration of a human knee within 7 years, and an entire limb within 15 years.

This major international research undertaking, called The HEAL Project, stands for Hartford Engineering a Limb. It is the brainchild of UConn Health's Cato T. Laurencin, a leading surgeon-scientist in orthopaedic surgery, engineering, and the new field of regenerative engineering. His laboratory research successes include the growth of bone and knee ligaments.

For the project, Laurencin is teaming with other top tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and bioengineering experts dedicated to the mission of advancing the fields and developing future therapies for patients living with musculoskeletal defects or who have limb injury or loss. HEAL's other research investigators include Professors Lakshmi Nair and Yusuf Khan of UConn, Professor David M. Gardiner of UC Irvine, professors at Harvard University, Columbia University, and Sastra University in India.

To accelerate the project's mission, the research investigators initially will be supported by 10 dedicated research fellows and a collaborative team of scientists and clinicians in engineering, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery and rehabilitation medicine from across UConn and UConn Health. And, new clinical and research alliances will be formed with other national and international experts from across science, technology, surgery, and medicine.