Implanted Muscle Fiber Fragments Could Help Heal Injuries, Treat Urinary Incontinence

Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) have developed a “point-of-care” processing method to create uniformly sized muscle fiber fragments that could be implanted into tissue to restore function to treat muscle loss due to traumatic injury or congenital defects.

Anthony Atala, MD“The processing method we developed will help the fragments more readily integrate with the host vascular and neural networks to restore function to patients,” said senior study author Anthony Atala, MD, the W.H. Boyce Professor, director of WFIRM and chair of urology.

For the recently published study, the research team created several pre-clinical injury models to mimic muscle atrophy, muscle defect and stress urinary incontinence. Results for all three model types were promising.

“Our study shows that this method may be most suitable for treating small and critical muscle defects, such as craniofacial muscle defects or the sphincter muscles related to incontinence where small amounts of donor tissue could achieve functional recovery,” said co-author James Yoo, MD, PhD, professor of regenerative medicine at WFIRM.

The study was published in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Research Funding
Research reported on was supported by the following grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

Implanted Muscle Fiber Fragments Could Help Heal Injuries, Treat Urinary Incontinence: Department of Defense grant W81XWII-08-1-0333, awarded by the Orthopedics Trauma Research Program.