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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

Building muscle in the lab

A new method allows large quantities of muscle stem cells to be safely obtained in cell culture. This provides a potential for treating patients with muscle diseases – and for those who would like to eat meat, but don’t want to kill animals.

Muscle stem cells and fibers can be grown in the laboratory from reprogrammed connective tissue cells (microscopy image). (Photograph: ETH Zurich / Bar-​Nur lab)

In brief

  • Connective tissue cells can now be transformed into muscle stem cells without genetic engineering. 
  • This approach could prove relevant for therapeutic applications in patients with muscle diseases.
  • In developing this new method, the researchers were inspired by the mRNA vaccines for COVID-​19.

ETH News