Scientists create the first lab-grown muscle that's 'as strong as the real thing'
Tissue implanted in mice was 10 times stronger than previous samples
Scientists have grown the first ever living muscle that is as strong and self-healing as the real thing, paving the way for one day replacing damaged human tissue with a lab-grown substitute.
Biomedical engineers from Duke University tested the muscle’s strength by forcing it to contract using electrical impulses and injecting it with a toxin found in snake venom in order to test its capacity for self-healing.
A final experiment saw the muscle implanted into the back of a living mouse, with a glass chamber placed into the mice allowing the scientists a literal window onto the development of the tissue.
The scientists report that within two weeks the muscle had successfully integrated with the animal’s blood supply, while genetically modified fluorescent fibres that flashed when the muscle contracted provided clear visual feedback to measure the growth of the tissue.
The muscle contractions observed in the mouse were comparable with “actual mouse muscle”, with the researchers involved describing the tissue as “10 times stronger than anything made in the lab before”.
The work, led by biomedical engineering professor Nenad Bursac, discovered that preparing lab-grown muscle requiresa pool of muscle stem cells (or satellite cells) as well as “well-developed contractile muscles”.
“The well-developed muscle we made provides niches for satellite cells to live in, and, when needed, to restore the robust musculature and its function,” said graduate student Mark Juhas, who helped conduct the research.
Bursac says that this team has already begun work on duplicating the trials with human muscle, stressing that a supply of fake contracting muscle would provide an invaluable resource for drug testing.
However, scientists are still a long way off replacing damaged human muscle with a lab-grown substitute. Creating an artificial vascular system that would feed the muscle with blood and help it grow is one difficulty, as is securing a large enough resource of human stem cells.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...