They are building a functioning physical 3D model of human muscle!!!


Last week I shared a wonderful article reporting that a working human muscle has been grown in the lab. I still genuinely wonder at the advances that occur in our time and I find that one find often leads to another.

The article on medium referenced another describing the ongoing efforts to build a functioning model of human muscle so that we can use it to further understand how to treat and cure illnesses

being three-dimensional provides tissue with stability, acts as a scaffold for repair, and even seems to be involved in the progression of certain diseases (Pampaloni et al., 2007; Lancaster and Knoblich, 2014)

A revelation I missed the first time I read this article is that

Skeletal muscle has an amazing capacity for repair due to the presence of a small population of stem cells residing within the tissue (Mauro, 1961)

This is new information to me and could explain a lot but right now my mind has more questions that answer.

  • Is this why muscle cells don’t get cancer?
  • But stem cells could be a reason muscles would get cancer!!!
  • What other organs or structures contain stem cells? Is there a list?
  • Is this really the main reason muscle cells regenerate so fast? I thought excellent blood supply and other factors were key, though this makes a lot of sense

After wonderful explanation of how the new model was arrived at we’re left with the more sobering question of how mainstream science will adopt it

for pharmaceutical companies to switch to a three-dimensional tissue model, the new model must first uncover important biological findings that are obscured in standard two-dimensional cultures

I’ve kept this intro short because I spent my available time reading the articles and getting excited so checkout the full story Tissue engineering: Muscling in on the third dimension to learn more.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about your body.

Until next time have a great day.


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