Scientists Grow Self-Healing Muscles

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 04:54 PM

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Scientists have created living muscles that have the ability to heal themselves, The Telegraph reports. 
 
They said the lab-grown muscle, demonstrated in animals, is an important step toward using the technique to treat human injuries.
 
The work, conducted at Duke University, involved inserting lab-grown muscle into a small chamber placed on the backs of the mice. Every two days for two weeks, the scientists checked the implanted muscles.
 
By genetically modifying the muscle fibers to produce fluorescent flashes during calcium spikes — which cause muscles to contract — the researchers could witness the muscle grow stronger.
 
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"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 scientist Mark Juhas who helped conduct the research.
 
The scientists also found that the muscles were able to repair themselves when damaged with a toxin found in snake venom.
 
The researchers said they will now begin work to determine whether the lab-grown muscles could be used to repair actual muscle injuries and disease.

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