Determining the Effects of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 on the Regenerative Abilities of Echinometra lucunter Sea Urchins

(1) Wheeler High School, Marietta, Georgia

Advances in regeneration have the potential to benefit the healthcare field through contributions to wound healing, organ transplants, and many more related technologies. This experiment was performed to help contribute to further research in vertebral regeneration, as humans’ capacity to regenerate is mostly limited to slower and less complex forms of regrowth. Due to their exceptional ability to regenerate entire bodily appendages, we used sea urchins of the species Echinometra lucenter as models for the study of regeneration. This experiment was constructed to examine the effects of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) on spinal regeneration time in the urchins. We hypothesized that the addition of this growth factor would cause urchins to regenerate a larger amount of their spinal tissue 14 days after severance. Although the mean percent regeneration of the experimental group was higher than that of the control, the results were not statistically significant, which reflects a possible lack of correlation between FGF2 and an increased regenerative ability. Further testing is required to discover the possible implications of the data and effect of FGF2 on humans.

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regeneration spinal injury neural tissue fgf2