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Tissue Regeneration in Planaria

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Andrew Ignacio

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Tissue Regeneration in Planaria

Tissue Regeneration in Planarian flatworms
By: Andrew, Karmdeep
Anuj, Harsimran

We did an experiment that is going to test the factors that affect tissue regeneration in planarian
Materials Required
- two Petri dishes
- a scalpel, to cut
- a pipette, to take out planaria
-magnifying glass
- sharpie marker
- ruler
- bottled water
- Vitamin D
Planarian Anatomy
Purpose: To observe the effect of Vitamin D on the rate of tissue regeneration in planarian.
Hypothesis: We hypothesize that Vitamin D will increase the rate of tissue regeneration because Vitamin D has been proven to help repair human skin and tissue cells.
Independent Variable: The vitamin D is the independent variable, the planarian will swim in 0.25% solution of Vitamin D
The dependent variable is the length of the planarian, we will measure this by using a ruler, and measuring it in (mm)
Planarian flatworms have a very special ability, or a super-power, that only a few organisms in the entire world have.

They can regenerate severed tissue, when a planarian is cut into half, it becomes two separate organisms.
What Are Planarian Flatworms?
- they live in fresh water ponds, usually found under stones and leaves
- reproduce sexually and asexually
- planarian are hermaphrodites, which means they have no gender possessing both sperm and egg cells
- planarian do not like light.

- it gets rid of waste and eats from the same place, the mouth
- eye spots are actually photoreceptors, they are part of the nervous system and they sense light
Factors That Affect Tissue Regeneration in Planarian Worms
Constant Variables Include:
-everyone using the same solution of Vitamin D
-everyone will make the same cut
-keep them all in the cupboard, at same amounts of light and temperature
-everyone use 20ml of stock solution, no more, no less
-everyone slightly uncover petri dishes
You will need:
Observation Table
Observation Table
The Vitamin D planarian regenerated faster than the Control.
The Vitamin D planarian had its full body regenerated in 7 days whereas the planarian that was in the Control, took 13 days to get its full body regenerated.

There was a change in length in the heads and tails. First, the head in Vitamin D shrunk by 2 mm on Day 2 and then started growing on Day 3. The head in Control shrunk by 1 mm on Day 2 however only started growing on Day 3.

Procedure continued
4. Observe the planarian for a few minutes, when it stretches out to its longest length (elongates) cut it at its mid section with the scalpel.
5. Place head and tail regions into labeled Petri dishes.
6. Measure the head (anterior end) and tail (posterior end) and record the lengths of each
7. Tidy up, put planarian in cool, dark area (such as cupboard) and leave Petri dish slightly open
Observations Continued
The tail in Vitamin D shrunk by 2 mm from Day 2-4 and then started growing on Day 5.

The tail in Control shrunk by 1 mm from Day 3/4 and started growing on Day 5.

Lastly, we noticed that the tail in Vitamin D had a white tip from Days 2-4 and the head had a white tip from Days 2-5.
The Control tail had a white tip from Days 3-7 and the head had a white tip from Days 3-9.


1. Label both Petri dishes, one for the head, and one for the tail

2. Make the 2% stock solution for the planarian. Mix 2 mL of Vitamin D with 100 mL of bottled water.

3. Create a separate 500 mL of stock solution, add 10 mL of Vitamin D to 500 mL of bottled water and use this to refill the Petri dishes every other day.

This table shows the tissue regeneration rate of planarian with Vitamin D.
Why is regeneration possible in planarian?
. Cells at the location of the wound will GROW to form a blastema, a mass of cells capable of regeneration
- the cells are capable of differentiating into new tissues and regenerate the missing parts of the planarian
- Instead of just repairing the tissue, and scarring it, it grows into a separate organism, like a sort of cloning power.
Human tissue regeneration capabilities and future medication
- human tissue is not capable to regenerate, our cells still get repaired but not to the extent of regeneration
- Future medications could change that, pig bladder powder has been used to regenerate severed fingers ie. Lee Spievak
- it's called extra cellular matrix, makes tissue regenerate rather than just repair and scar
This table shows the regeneration of planarian tissue without vitamin D.
Regeneration with Vitamin D Graph
Regeneration Control
In Conclusion...
According to the results of the experiment, Vitamin D DOES increase tissue regeneration in planarian.
In Conclusion...
The Vitamin D planarian worm regenerated in only 7 days, while the Control planarian regenerated at 13 days. A landslide victory, for Vitamin D planarian, as it wins the race against Control planarian. Both were fine competitors with extraordinary regeneration powers but clearly, control planarian should've taken vitamin D as well.
What is vitamin D? what benefits does have for humans?
Vitamin D is essential for:
- maintaining strong bones
- good for the immune system, which fights off bacteria and viruses
- recent studies show that Vitamin D can help repair your skin or wounds
Full transcript