Self Healing Muscle : How Artificially Grown Muscle Can Heal Itself

Some exciting developments are being made in the medical and fitness sector, and few things top the revelation that muscle can not only be grown artificially, but can also heal itself should it become injured! The process by which this is done is known as tissue engineering, and it is hoped that these new developments may help with the repair of tissue damage in humans.

Ideal environment to grow muscle

The findings of this study were presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and so far the results are encouraging in mice. The researchers were apparently able to create the ideal environment in which to grow muscle and muscle stem cells that could develop into muscle tissue. Having achieved this the researchers were able to grow muscle like tissue that looked and functioned like muscle, which was strong and contractile and was even able to repair itself when researchers damaged it with a toxin.

Grafted into mice

When it was grafted into mice i.e. inserted into their muscle and encouraged to integrate, the muscle bound to the rest of the surrounding tissue as hoped. Although this is very promising the results will only become groundbreaking when the transition is proven from mice to humans, then we may be onto something absolutely revolutionary! Either way, the muscle they have built proves to be a major advancement in the in the field.

First of its kind

This is apparently the first time in the history of genetically modified tissue that a muscle has been made that can contract, and contract forcefully. Despite the promise of this artificial muscle, the muscle has only been seen to contract as forcefully as a neonate i.e. a new born baby, but this is still amazing progress in this field.

UK expert in skeletal muscle tissue engineering Prof Mark Lewis, from Loughborough University, said: "A number of researchers have 'grown' muscles in the laboratory and shown that they can behave in similar ways to that seen in the human body. However, transplantation of these grown muscles into a living creature, which continue to function as if they were native muscle has been taken to the next level by the current work."

This is a step in the right direction, in every direction regarding regenerative medicine! If the researchers can transform stem cells into any type of tissue then this would be very exciting. However researchers acknowledge that cures and treatments and several years away. Watch this space!

Reference

BBC News Health, (2014). Self healing muscle grown in the lab. Retrieved 8th April, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26821080

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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