We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Detecto

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Implantable Device Functions as Soft Robot for Treating Muscle Atrophy

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Nov 2022
Print article
Image: MAGENTA prototypes fabricated with “shape memory alloy” spring and elastomer (Photo courtesy of Wyss Institute)
Image: MAGENTA prototypes fabricated with “shape memory alloy” spring and elastomer (Photo courtesy of Wyss Institute)

Muscles waste as a result of not being exercised enough, as happens quickly with a broken limb that has been immobilized in a cast, and more slowly in people reaching an advanced age. Muscle atrophy, how clinicians refer to the phenomenon, is also a debilitating symptom in patients suffering from neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS), and can be a systemic response to various other diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Mechanotherapy, a form of therapy given by manual or mechanical means, is thought to have broad potential for tissue repair. The best-known example is massage, which applies compressive stimulation to muscles for their relaxation. However, it has been much less clear whether stretching and contracting muscles by external means can also be a treatment. So far, two major challenges have prevented such studies: limited mechanical systems capable of evenly generating stretching and contraction forces along the length of muscles, and inefficient delivery of these mechanical stimuli to the surface and into the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

Now, bioengineers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University (Boston, MA, USA) have developed a mechanically active adhesive named MAGENTA, which functions as a soft robotic device and solves this two-fold problem. In an animal model, MAGENTA successfully prevented and supported the recovery from muscle atrophy. One of MAGENTA’s major components is an engineered spring made from nitinol, a type of metal known as “shape memory alloy” (SMA) that enables MAGENTA’s rapid actuation when heated to a certain temperature. The researchers actuated the spring by electrically wiring it to a microprocessor unit that allows the frequency and duration of the stretching and contraction cycles to be programmed.

The other components of MAGENTA are an elastomer matrix that forms the body of the device and insulates the heated SMA, and a “tough adhesive” that enables the device to be firmly adhered to muscle tissue. In this way, the device is aligned with the natural axis of muscle movement, transmitting the mechanical force generated by SMA deep into the muscle. The researchers are advancing MAGENTA, which stands for “mechanically active gel-elastomer-nitinol tissue adhesive,” as one of several Tough Gel Adhesives with functionalities tailored to various regenerative applications across multiple tissues.

After designing and assembling the MAGENTA device, the team tested its muscle deforming potential, first in isolated muscles ex vivo and then by implanting it on one of the major calf muscles of mice. The device did not induce any serious signs of tissue inflammation and damage, and exhibited a mechanical strain of about 15% on muscles, which matches their natural deformation during exercise. Next, to evaluate its therapeutic efficacy, the researchers used an in vivo model of muscle atrophy by immobilizing a mouse’s hind limb in a tiny cast-like enclosure for up to two weeks after implanting the MAGENTA device on it.

“While untreated muscles and muscles treated with the device but not stimulated significantly wasted away during this period, the actively stimulated muscles showed reduced muscle wasting,” said first-author and Wyss Technology Development Fellow Sungmin Nam, Ph.D. “Our approach could also promote the recovery of muscle mass that already had been lost over a three-week period of immobilization, and induce the activation of the major biochemical mechanotransduction pathways known to elicit protein synthesis and muscle growth.”

“With MAGENTA, we developed a new integrated multi-component system for the mechanostimulation of muscle that can be directly placed on muscle tissue to trigger key molecular pathways for growth,” said senior author and Wyss Founding Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D. “While the study provides first proof-of-concept that externally provided stretching and contraction movements can prevent atrophy in an animal model, we think that the device’s core design can be broadly adapted to various disease settings where atrophy is a major issue.”

Related Links:
Wyss Institute at Harvard University

BMP Whole Blood Analyzer: GEM Premier ChemSTAT
Gold Supplier
ESR Analyzer
miniiSED™
New
Microarray Hybridization Station
CapitalBio BioMixer II
New
Silver Supplier
Whole Blood Quality Control
Meter Trax Control

Print article
Radcal

Channels

AI

view channel
Image: AI transforms smartwatch ECG signals into a diagnostic tool for heart failure (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

AI-Based Smartwatch Accurately Detects Heart Failure Using ECG Signals

People with a weak heart pump might not have symptoms, but this common form of heart disease affects about 2% of the population and 9% of people over 60. When the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood,... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: PATHFAST is a compact immunoanalyzer with superior assay performance (Photo courtesy of PHC Europe)

Benchtop Immunoanalyzer Delivers Lab Quality Results for Cardiology, Intensive Care and Emergency Wards at POC

A compact immunoanalyzer with superior assay performance combines the accuracy of a full-scale lab analyzer with the flexibility of a mobile solution, making it an ideal analysis system for laboratories,... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The digital stretcher scales are designed specifically for emergent situations in hospitals and emergency rooms (Photo courtesy of DETECTO)

Portable High-Capacity Digital Stretcher Scales Provide Precision Weighing for Patients in ER

For emergency arrivals into a hospital, time is of the essence for gathering patient weights. Now, digital stretcher scales specifically designed for emergent situations in hospitals and emergency rooms... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: Using digital data can improve health outcomes (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Electronic Health Records May Be Key to Improving Patient Care, Study Finds

When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records... Read more

Business

view channel
Image: The global visualization instruments for MIS market is estimated to surpass USD 21 billion by 2031 (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Global Visualization Instruments for MIS Market Driven by Increasing Demand for Endoscopy Procedures

The last few years have witnessed an increase in patient preference for medical surgeries that involve fewer incisions. As a result, the demand for visualization instruments, which aid in achieving improved... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.