Scientists at Duke University have grown the first ever laboratory-grown contracting human skeletal muscle that contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. This success could revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine.
Researcher Nenad Bursac said, "The beauty of this work was that it could serve as a test bed for clinical trials in a dish, and they were working to test drugs' efficacy and safety without jeopardizing a patient's health and also to reproduce the functional and biochemical signals of diseases-especially rare ones and those that make taking muscle biopsies difficult. One of our goals was to use this method to provide personalized medicine to patients. Doctors could take a biopsy from each patient and grow many new muscles to use as test samples and experiment to see which drugs would work best for each person."
The study is published in eLife.