Self-healing muscle grown in the lab

The engineered muscle fibres were strong and
could self-repair
Scientists have grown living muscle in the lab that not only looks and works like the real thing, but also heals by itself - a significant step in tissue engineering.

Ultimately, they hope the lab-grown muscle could be used to repair damage in humans.

So far trials have tested this out in mice.

The results of this early work are described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Duke University researchers say their success was down to creating the perfect environment for muscle growth - well-developed contractile muscle fibres and a pool of immature stem cells, known as satellite cells, that could develop into muscle tissue.

In tests, the lab-grown muscle was found to be strong and good at contracting and was able to repair itself using the satellite cells when the researchers damaged it with a toxin.

When it was grafted into mice, the muscle appeared to integrate well with the rest of the surrounding tissue and began doing the job required of it.

They say more tests are needed before they could move the work into humans

- BBC.co.uk


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