After only 10 days of growth, bioprinted muscles are capable of contraction.


Researchers at the Terasaki Institute in Los Angeles have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of 3D bioprinting that could revolutionize muscle transplants. By incorporating microparticles loaded with insulin-like growth factor (IGF) into a bioink containing myoblast cells and a gelatin-based hydrogel, they have achieved significant improvements in cell growth, elongation, and alignment in 3D printed muscle constructs.

The integration of IGF-loaded microparticles was made possible through the use of a microfluidic platform. This innovative technique has allowed the researchers to create lab-created muscle transplants that exhibit the same behavior as natural muscles. In some cases, the engineered muscles even showed spontaneous contractions after just ten days of incubation.

This breakthrough is particularly significant because it addresses the critical role of skeletal muscle in human mobility and daily life. When muscle tissue is damaged or removed due to injury or disease, it can have a profound impact on a patient’s quality of life. Traditional treatments, such as transplanting healthy muscle from other parts of the body, can lead to complications and incomplete recovery.

By leveraging 3D bioprinting and slow-release growth factors like IGF, researchers are able to guide myoblast cells towards a skeletal muscle phenotype within the constructs. This mimics the natural behavior of muscle cells and promotes elongation and alignment. The sustained release of IGF-1 facilitates the maturation and alignment of muscle cells, which is a crucial step in muscle tissue repair and regeneration.

This new approach has the potential to revolutionize the field of muscle transplants. It offers a less invasive alternative to traditional treatments and holds the promise of improved outcomes and quality of life for patients facing muscle-related challenges.

The researchers’ work has been published in a research paper titled “Enhanced Maturation of 3D Bioprinted Skeletal Muscle Tissue Constructs Encapsulating Soluble Factor-Releasing Microparticles.” This paper provides more detailed information on their findings and can be accessed through the provided link.

If you’re interested in staying up to date with the latest news and advancements in additive manufacturing, make sure to sign up for the Terasaki Institute’s weekly newsletter. You can also share your thoughts on this breakthrough and join the discussion by visiting their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

This exciting discovery opens up new possibilities for the future of muscle transplants. The potential for engineered muscles to contract further illustrates the power of this technology. With further research and development, we may soon see fully functional, lab-created muscle transplants becoming a reality, providing hope and improved quality of life for patients in need.

Original source


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