Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Building Muscle

Nano-scaffold provides support for effective muscle regrowth

23 June 2019

Building Muscle

Our bodies are remarkably good at repairing themselves, even if it doesn’t always feel that way when your ankle still hurts weeks after a sprain. Skeletal muscle, those connected to our bones, are particularly good at self-repair, with constant damage and rebuilding at the heart of their strengthening process. However, even this has its limits, and severe injuries can cause irreparable damage. To help recover from these setbacks, researchers have engineered artificial scaffolds to support rebuilding. Crucially, a new technique uses nano-patterned scaffolds to help lend structure to the process, with muscle tissue regrowing in aligned patterns (top right) on an orderly scaffold (bottom right), just like real muscle, compared to haphazard growth on a disordered base (left) in experiments with injured mice. The researchers hope that these tests might provide a springboard for new approaches to regenerative tissue engineering, to help give the body’s repair systems a boost.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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