Exercising Lab-Grown Muscle Tissue Improve EffectivenessCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: July 17, 2012 03:20PM
The body is pretty good and repairing minor damage or loss of muscle tissue, but for more major loses, either due to injury or disease, the body cannot replicate the cells needed. To address this, surgeons will normally take muscle from another part of the body to replace what was lost, but this just means there is another part of the body missing muscle it cannot repair. Now researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have found a new solution that does not require transferring cells like that, but is still very effective.
Previous research has shown it is possible to extract muscle cells from a sample, and then grow them into implants on top of a biocompatible material. These implants are able to provide a structure the body can grow new cells on, which accelerates the repair process. What the researchers have done is found a way to accelerate this further and have the repair processes last longer. Simply stretching and contracting the implants to train them for what they will undergo in the body, increased their effectiveness.
When tested in lab mice that had part of a muscle in the back removed, those that did not receive any implant were only able to produce 30% of the force they could before the muscle was removed. Those with the exercised implants reached 70% of their original force, which is a significant difference. This could prove to be invaluable to surgeons and human patients as muscle can be regrown without having to remove it from elsewhere.