Recently, a scientist at Duke University and a graduated student of this same varsity had created a living muscle tissue which is able to heal itself. Both researchers believe that more investigation and development will come to help humans recovering from many different muscle injuries.
This muscle has shown being able to quickly integrate into lab mice, and also have the quality of being more than 10 times stronger than any other previously engineered muscle ever developed, as Quartz has published. It also can heal itself both in the living animal and inside the laboratory.
This research has been made in Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Lead researcher Nenad Bursac told that perhaps the most exciting development was that they were able to isolate stem cells from mouse muscle and then grow them into muscle fibers.“We got them to grow into strongly contracting fibers,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve seen muscle fibers contract so strongly in the lab. It was comparable to the contracting forces you’d see in an actual mouse muscle.”
They injected many of the undefined stem cells with cobra venom, which killed the original tissue within a half hour. The new fibers, though, proved reliable enough to resist the venom and heal the damage that had already been done.
“The muscle we have made represents an important advance for the field. It’s the first time engineered muscle has been created that contracts as strongly as native neonatal skeletal muscle,”Dr. Bursac told the Telegraph: “Can it vascularize, innervate and repair the damaged muscle’s function? That is what we will be working on for the next several years.”
The artificial vascularization process, which would provide a channel through which body fluid can travel, is not expected to be discovered for 10-15 years, at which point Dr. Brusac predicted it would be worthy of a Nobel Prize. This is a way how we can realize the importance of this research.The findings were first published this week in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The stem cells don’t just build these fibers,” Bursac said. “They sit next to the muscle fibers, and if there’s an injury – if a muscle is torn, and some fibers die – these cells jump in and fuse to rebuild the lost tissue.”
Dr. Bursac said he is trying to take that process out of the Duke labs and into hospitals, where it could eventually benefit professional athletes trying to return from an injury or elderly surgery patients, although it would have too many applications with time. The lead researcher admitted that, even though news of the mice study is just being made public now, his team has already completed successful trials with human tissue.
Researchers are optimistic that they will be able to fully replace an injured muscle soon, although a realistic timeline is difficult to come by. To complete the process effectively, doctors would need to extract a small muscle, sample harvest cells from it, use that sample to grow new tissue, and then transfer it back to the same individual.
Aside from the difficulty the timeline would present, scientists still only have a small sample size they can use for experiments. Bursac told Quartz that a single human biopsy only yields a small number of stem cells, which become weaker as they are expanded more and more.
“Let’s say you’re rebuilding a facial muscle,” he said. “For a human, that’s a large muscle mass. The cells in the center of the muscle would die from lack of nutrients. You need to make a vasculature system that could sustain life while the muscle was outside the body.”
To complete the information of this research you can watch these three youtube videos, one from the Duke University and the other two from science news.
I’ve found this research very interesting, and I also believe that it will have too many applications with time and development. This will signify a great advance in biomedical field if they continue working on it. And if someday it could be applied to heart diseases human lifes will became improved by years. The lead researcher mentioned that it willl be worthy of a Nobel Prize if they do not stop its investigation, I really agree with him. The possibility of healing a damaged muscle fiber just by using stem cells of its own body ti’s really amazing.
The original source of this research has been published on this web site PNA