• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Scientists engineer self-healing muscle

Living skeletal muscle that not only functions like the real thing but can heal itself has been engineered by scientists.

The lab-grown tissue, produced from immature pre-cursor cells, was demonstrated in mice.

Scientists believe it marks a significant step towards growing viable replacement muscle in humans.

Unlike previous examples of bioengineered muscle, the artificially-constructed muscle fibres contracted as strongly as their natural counterparts.

Satellite cells - dormant step cells that can be activated by injury to regenerate damaged tissue - were at the heart of the self-repair mechanism.

The secret was supplying them with the right environment, the researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said.

"Simply implanting satellite cells or less-developed muscle doesn't work as well," said Mark Juhas, a member of the team from Duke University in Durham, US.

"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."

Stimulating the tissue with electric pulses to make it contract showed that the engineered muscle was more than 10 times stronger than any of its predecessors.

Contextual targeting label: 
Health

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

223308