Stem cell research grows and grows in Europe! For the first time ever, researchers succeded to effectively grow a large number of muscle cells derived from pluripotent stem cells!
Researchers from six European countries are participating in the PluriMes project to give a cutting edge to the European stem cell research. Launched in February 2014, the €6M program aims at finding an effective and accurate way to grow bone, muscle and cartilage cells from pluripotent stem cells. The latter holds a great promise to enable the replacement of lost or damaged tissue. As published in Nature Biotechnology, the PluriMes project reported a major breakthrough: Millimeter-long muscle fibers were created from the pluripotent stem cells and were able to contract and divide en masse!
The production of muscle tissue in the lab can be a valuable tool. With this tissue, diseases could be studied and new treatments tested. A future goal is to make the manufactured muscle fibers accessible to treat degenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy.