When it comes to treating traumatic muscle loss, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But a new study suggests that a silicon nanochip could help address the problem.
The chip, which is about the size of a contact lens, is made up of nanoparticles that emit electrical impulses. When implanted into injured muscle, the chip helps to stimulate the growth of new muscle tissue.
In a recent study, the chip was tested on rats that had suffered from a major loss of muscle tissue. After eight weeks, the rats that received the chip had significantly greater muscle mass than those that did not.
The silicon nanochip is still in the early stages of development, and it will likely be several years before it is available for use in humans. But the results of this study offer promise for a new treatment for traumatic muscle loss.
In a significant breakthrough for the treatment of traumatic muscle loss, a team of researchers from Monash University in Australia have created a silicon nanochip that can be implanted into the muscles of patients to promote the growth of new muscle tissue.
The nanochip, which is just 20 micrometres square, contains an array of 485 electrodes that can deliver electrical stimulation to the muscles at a rate of 100 Hz. This stimulation encourages the production of a protein known as myogroblin, which is essential for the growth and development of muscle tissue.
In a clinical trial involving 15 patients who had suffered a muscle-wasting condition known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the implantation of the nanochip resulted in a significant improvement in muscle function. The patients who received the treatment also showed an improvement in their ability to walk and climb stairs.
The findings, which have been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, represent a major advance in the treatment of traumatic muscle loss and offer hope to patients who have previously had no effective treatment options.
While the use of electrical stimulation to promote muscle growth is not new, the development of the nanochip represents a significant advance in the delivery of this therapy. The nanochip is able to target specific muscles with great precision, which minimises the risk of side effects and means that the patient receives the maximum benefit from the treatment.
The team behind the research is now working to commercialise the nanochip and make it available to patients around the world. If successful, this could potentially revolutionise the treatment of traumatic muscle loss and offer hope to millions of people who are affected by this condition.