Researchers Use Human Cells to Engineer Functional Anal Sphincters in Lab

Researchers have built the first functional anal sphincters in the laboratory, suggesting a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence. Made from muscle and nerve cells, the sphincters developed a blood supply and maintained function when implanted in mice. The results are reported in the medical journal Gastroenterology.

“In essence, we have built a replacement sphincter that we hope can one day benefit human patients. This is the first bioengineered sphincter made with both muscle and nerve cells, making it ‘pre-wired’ for placement in the body,” said senior author Khalil N. Bitar, Ph.D., a professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Bitar performed the work when he was on the University of Michigan faculty and it included a colleague from Emory University.

Sphincters are ring-like muscles that maintain constriction of a body passage. There are numerous sphincters in the human body, Continue reading

The Burger of the Future Is Made from Stem Cells

The first ‘test-tube’ hamburger is only a year away, scientists claim.

They believe the product, beef mince grown from stem cells, could pave the way for eating meat without animals being slaughtered.

The Dutch scientists predict that over the next few decades the world’s population will increase so quickly that there will not be enough livestock to feed everyone.

As a result, they say, laboratory-grown beef, chicken and lamb could become normal.

The scientists are currently developing a burger Continue reading

Nanoscale Whiskers from Sea Creatures Could Grow Human Muscle Tissue

Minute whiskers of nanoscale dimensions taken from sea creatures could hold the key to creating working human muscle tissue, University of Manchester researchers have discovered.

Scientists have found that cellulose from tunicates, commonly known as sea squirts, can influence the behaviour of skeletal muscle cells in the laboratory.

These nanostructures are several thousand times smaller than muscle cells and are the smallest physical feature found to cause cell alignment.

Alignment is important since a lot of tissue in the body,  Continue reading