Researchers from Duke University have made a break through with artificial lab grown muscle tissue. The team has created an artificial muscle that is able to contract powerfully and rapidly while being able to be successfully integrated into mice in tests. One of the coolest aspects of this artificial muscle is that the fibers are able to heal themselves.
The healing properties of the artificial muscles work both in the lab an inside the animal. Researchers say that the key to their success was creating microenvironments, known as niches, where stem cells sit and wait to be called into duty to repair a torn muscle. These stem cells are known satellite cells.
In lab tests, the researchers damaged the muscle fibers using a toxin that is found in snake venom. Satellite cells in the artificial muscle were able to multiply and heal the injured fibers. For the mice tests, the team inserted the muscle into a small chamber on the back of a live mouse and determined that the muscle can grow and repair inside the mouse.
The team hopes to use the artificial muscle they have developed in the future to repair muscle injury and disease. Someday this tech may mean people suffering from degenerative muscle diseases can regain their freedom and mobility. Lots of research work is being put into artificial muscles. Late last year a team of researchers created a robotic muscle 1000 times stronger than human muscle.