Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Living skeletal muscle that contracts powerfully and rapidly, integrates quickly into mice, and for the first time, demonstrates the ability to heal itself both inside the laboratory and inside an animal has been grown in the lab by biomedical engineers. "The muscle we have made represents an important advance for the field," an author said. "It's the first time engineered muscle has been created that contracts as strongly as native neonatal skeletal muscle."

Long, colorful strands of engineered muscle fiber have been stained to observe growth after implantation into a mouse.
Credit: Duke University

Biomedical engineers have grown living skeletal muscle that looks a lot like the real thing. It contracts powerfully and rapidly, integrates into mice quickly, and for the first time, demonstrates the ability to heal itself both inside the laboratory and inside an animal.

Related Articles


The study conducted at Duke University tested the bioengineered muscle by literally watching it through a window on the back of living mouse. The novel technique allowed for real-time monitoring of the muscle's integration and maturation inside a living, walking animal.

Both the lab-grown muscle and experimental techniques are important steps toward growing viable muscle for studying diseases and treating injuries, said Nenad Bursac, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke.

The results appear the week of March 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

"The muscle we have made represents an important advance for the field," Bursac said. "It's the first time engineered muscle has been created that contracts as strongly as native neonatal skeletal muscle."

Through years of perfecting their techniques, a team led by Bursac and graduate student Mark Juhas discovered that preparing better muscle requires two things -- well-developed contractile muscle fibers and a pool of muscle stem cells, known as satellite cells.

Every muscle has satellite cells on reserve, ready to activate upon injury and begin the regeneration process. The key to the team's success was successfully creating the microenvironments -- called niches -- where these stem cells await their call to duty.

"Simply implanting satellite cells or less-developed muscle doesn't work as well," said Juhas. "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."

To put their muscle to the test, the engineers ran it through a gauntlet of trials in the laboratory. By stimulating it with electric pulses, they measured its contractile strength, showing that it was more than 10 times stronger than any previous engineered muscles. They damaged it with a toxin found in snake venom to prove that the satellite cells could activate, multiply and successfully heal the injured muscle fibers.

Then they moved it out of a dish and into a mouse.

With the help of Greg Palmer, an assistant professor of radiation oncology in the Duke University School of Medicine, the team inserted their lab-grown muscle into a small chamber placed on the backs of live mice. The chamber was then covered by a glass panel. Every two days for two weeks, Juhas imaged the implanted muscles through the window to check on their progress.

By genetically modifying the muscle fibers to produce fluorescent flashes during calcium spikes -- which cause muscle to contract -- the researchers could watch the flashes become brighter as the muscle grew stronger.

"We could see and measure in real time how blood vessels grew into the implanted muscle fibers, maturing toward equaling the strength of its native counterpart," said Juhas.

The engineers are now beginning work to see if their biomimetic muscle can be used to repair actual muscle injuries and disease.

"Can it vascularize, innervate and repair the damaged muscle's function?" asked Bursac. "That is what we will be working on for the next several years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark Juhas, George C. Engelmayr, Jr., Andrew N. Fontanella, Gregory M. Palmer, and Nenad Bursac. Biomimetic engineered muscle with capacity for vascular integration and functional maturation in vivo. PNAS, March 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402723111

Cite This Page:

Duke University. "Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331153606.htm>.
Duke University. (2014, March 31). Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331153606.htm
Duke University. "Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331153606.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins