Researchers in the US have been able to develop in the laboratory – after repeated failed attempts – the first functional human skeletal muscle, derived from skin stem cells. It was preceded by the same research team at North Carolina’s Duke University, the creation in 2015 of the first functional muscle tissue of cells obtained from muscle biopsies.
Those cells (myoblasts) had gone beyond the stem cell stage and, with appropriate culture and support, eventually matured into muscle fibers. But this time, muscle growth from other adult cells other than muscle, such as skin or blood, previously rescheduled to restore to their initial multipotent state, is a significant advance as it will allow scientists to develop much more muscle cells and less time.
Laboratory muscle building will, among other things, help regenerative medicine, the development of personalized therapies for rare muscular disorders (eg Duchenne muscular dystrophy), the development of new drugs and baseline muscle biology studies.
The researchers, headed by Biomedical Engineering Professor Nendant Bursak, made the relevant publication in Nature Communications. As Bursak said, “Starting with pluripotent stem cells that are not muscle cells, but can be all kinds of existing cells in our body, it allows us to develop an unlimited number of myogenic precursor cells.
These precursor cells look like adult muscle stem cells called satellites and which are theoretically able to create a whole muscle starting from a single cell. ” Laboratory muscles contract and react to external stimuli (electrical, biochemical, etc.) such as natural muscles.
Scientists also introduced laboratory human muscles in adult mice and showed that muscles survive and work for at least three weeks as they progressively integrate into other natural muscle tissues. Laboratory muscle is not as strong as physicist at present, but it can be improved in the future. Researchers have said they are already working in this direction.