Self-Healing Engineered Muscle Grown in the Laboratory

Here are the highlights of the story, which is to be published next week in PNAS and under embargo until 3:00 pm EST on Monday, March 31.:


  • First time lab-grown muscle has been shown to heal itself both in a dish and in an animal
  • Implanted "window" in skin flaps on the backs of mice let researchers observe its development
  • Engineered muscle more than 10 times stronger than any previously grown
  • First time lab-grown muscle has rivaled the strength of native neonatal tissue
  • And now the real stars of the show - the images and video

Long, colorful strands of engineered muscle fiber have been stained to observe growth after implantation into a mouse.
This series of images shows the destruction and subsequent recovery of engineered muscle fibers that had been exposed to a toxin found in snake venom. This marks the first time engineered muscle has been shown to repair itself after implantation into a living animal.
This series of images shows the progress of veins slowly growing into implanted engineered muscle fibers.
Video: After veins grow into the implanted engineered muscle fibers, blood cells can be seen traveling through them, sustaining and nourishing the new tissue.