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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Self-Healing Muscles Grown In Lab, Implanted In Mice

•, By Douglas Main
 No this isn't a joke, etc.: Scientists have grown working muscle fibers in the lab that they were then able to successfully implant into mice.  Even better, the muscles can repair themselves, which is a significant step in tissue engineering.  

"It's the first time engineered muscle has been created that contracts as strongly as native neonatal [newborn] skeletal muscle," Duke researcher Nenad Bursac told the BBC

To make the muscles as responsive and strong as the real thing, they created little gaps in the fibers where muscle stem cells could grow. This also allowed them to heal themselves, as Alan Boyle explained at NBC News:

When a natural-born muscle is injured, the satellite cells are activated to begin the regeneration process. The researchers found that their lab-grown muscles did likewise when they were damaged with a toxin found in snake venom.

In a separate test, the muscles where inserted onto the backs of living mice, under a glass panel. They were engineered to fluoresce when they contracted, as NBC reported. This allowed researchers to see the flashes grow stronger as the muscles grew, as can be seen in the video below.