Wake Forest University researchers recently announced that they've successfully transplanted lab-grown muscle on the backs of injured mice. As we reported last week, here’s how they did it:
They harvest mouse muscle cells and duplicate them on strips of pig bladder (engineered to be mouse-compatible).
A computer-guided device expands and contracts the cells, “exercising” them.
The researchers implant the strips of muscle cells into mice who’d had half of their back muscle removed (yes, ouch).
The mice implanted with new muscle strips showed a three times improvement in strength over the mice whose injured muscles were left unaddressed. The implanted cells appeared to speed up healing and prompt the development of new muscle tissue.
Photo: Eindhoven University of Technology/Bart van Overbeeke