Scientists have grown that first ever lab-grown contracting human muscle. Developed by the researchers at Duke University, the human skeletal muscle contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals, and could revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine.

The study was led by Nenad Bursac, associate professor at Duke University, and Lauran Madden, a postdoctoral researcher in Bursac’s laboratory.

Bursac said that the beauty of this work was that it could serve as a test bed for clinical trials in a dish, and they were working to test drugs’ efficacy and safety without jeopardizing a patient’s health and also to reproduce the functional and biochemical signals of diseases-especially rare ones and those that make taking muscle biopsies difficult.

He added that one of their goals was to use this method to provide personalized medicine to patients. They could take a biopsy from each patient, grow many new muscles to use as test samples and experiment to see which drugs would work best for each person.

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