Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Jumpstarting Legs

Multi-drug cocktail applied to site of amputation kick starts frog limb regeneration

02 March 2022

Jumpstarting Legs

Humans regrowing lost limbs is a medical marvel confined to the realms of science fiction. Scientists trying to make that far-off fiction a contemporary reality investigated what's needed to kickstart the body’s latent growth abilities, by treating wounded frogs with a multi-drug combination applied directly to an amputated limb via a wearable cover for 24 hours. Each chemical aided a different aspect, encouraging growth or preventing typical scarring or inflammation responses. The African clawed frog can't naturally regenerate limbs, so is a promising model for human limb regrowth. Over 18 months following the treatment, the leg regrew (pictured during post-experiment examination of the nerve and tissue structure), responding to stimuli and being used for swimming. The next step is to tweak the cocktail to encourage even more functional and complete limbs, then see if similar pathways can be stimulated in mammals, ultimately helping millions of patients who have lost limbs.

Written by Anthony Lewis

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.