The breakthrough holds promise for understanding and treating rare muscular diseases. Muscles were grown using skin cells that had been “reprogrammed” to an original state, in which they are referred to as pluripotent stem cells. These cells can then be encouraged to grow into muscle cells by flooding them with a substance called Pax7.  The new research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

“It’s taken years of trial and error, making educated guesses and taking baby steps to finally produce functioning human muscle from pluripotent stem cells,” said Dr Lingjun Rao, a biomedical engineer at Duke University who co-authored the study. Having produced muscle cells in this way, the scientists provided them with structural support and nourishment that allowed them to become functioning muscle. Not only did this muscle respond to chemical and electrical signals just like living muscle, the scientists were able to implant it into mice, with some success. READ MORE