All organisms possess a regenerative potential. ,  In echinoderms, regenerative ability is a spectacular event capable of regenerating appendages, vital organs, and even whole new individuals. ,  However, although echinoderms express regenerative potential to a maximum extent, they have received little attention as a model system for regeneration. 
All the regenerative strategies that are currently described in animals are represented in echinoderms.  Regenerative model systems that have received more attention include the invertebrate hydrozoans and protostome planarians and vertebrate urodele amphibians (salamanders) (see Urodele Amphibians: The Regenerate Vertebrate Exception).  Echinoderms are deuterostomes and an average of 70% of echinoderm genes have human homologues.  Echinoderms are also more closely related to Chordates (e.g., mammals) than are planarians and thus beneficial applications of regenerative processes are more likely to stem from studies of echinoderms rather than planarian models. 
Future research on regeneration should include echinoderms as an established model for studying the molecular and cellular processes that drive regeneration.
Studying the molecular and cellular process of regeneration could help answer questions on how regenerative process are initiated with regards to: 
- Which sets of genes are activated (or reactivated)?
- What is the origins of the cells involved in reconstruction or repair of the damaged or lost structure?
- Which factors (morphogens and/or mitogens) regulate growth, morphogenesis and differentiation at the right time and at the correct place to ensure complete reestablishment of anatomical pattern and functional integrity?