The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year grant to a University of Arkansas biomedical engineering researcher and his research team.
The $437,248 grant announced Tuesday to Jeffrey Wolchock and his team is to be used to help design and test a biomaterial that can regenerate damaged skeletal muscle.
Wolchock says living cells produce proteins and gels called extracellular matrix that support cell survival and tissue strength. In severe injuries the extracellular matrix doesn't function properly and can't initiate the healing process.
Engineered "muscle-mimics" provide the molecules necessary to start the regeneration and the grant allows Wolchok and his research team to build muscle-mimicking biomaterials using a cellular approach and to test the material's regenerative capacities.