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Magnetic Gels Fix Muscles

January 26, 2016

A muscle-repairing implant may suppress inflammation and grow new tissue.



Muscle repairing implants. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Severe muscle injuries are extremely difficult to treat. Lightweight gel structures filled with iron particles and implanted into the muscle could help, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Doctors used a pulsing magnetic field to vibrate the iron particles and deform the gel. Harvard bioengineer David Mooney says that in lab mice, the treatment reduced inflammation and spurred muscle growth.

DAVID MOONEY (Harvard University):

The level of regeneration we’re seeing here is very similar to what we’ve seen in the past using very sophisticated molecular or stem cell therapies, so the possibility that a simple mechanical cue could do something similar would be quite exciting and potentially something that could be translated very readily to the clinic.


The team plans to try the technique in larger animals before moving to clinical trials. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

by Bob Hirshon