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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Self-healing muscles grown in a lab will make you whole again

•, Colin Druce-McFadden
 Nowadays, you might have to get that foot amputated and a prosthetic fitted to your leg. But in the near future, you'll have a different option: lab-grown muscles that regenerate and restore function when implanted on your body.

It might sound too good to be true, but a team of Duke University scientists already performed this miracle surgery on a series of test mice. The implanted muscle is capable of flexing and contracting with the same amount of strength as your natural muscles do and it even coaxes your veins to grow into it, integrating it into your body through the natural healing process.

That healing process is even kicked off by the lab-grown muscles themselves. By tailoring implantable muscles with areas referred to as niches, areas where stem cells are embedded, the scientists created muscle tissue that responded to implantation in the body as if it had been injured. These perceived injuries inspired the bodies of the test mice and the lab-grown muscle tissue to integrate with each other as if they had always been part of the same tissue.

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