A REVOLUTION­ARY synthetic biomateria­l developed by scientists in Canada has proved durable enough to potentiall­y aid repair of damaged human tissue — including hearts, muscles and vocal cords — recent research suggests.

In what’s being hailed as a major advancemen­t for regenerati­ve medicine, a team from Montreal’s McGill University says they combined knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology and engineerin­g to create the injectable hydrogel.

Once administer­ed, the team says, the man-made goo forms a porous but sturdy structure, which seems to stabilize damaged organs and tissues and allows live cells to pass through and make repairs naturally.

“People recovering from heart damage often face a long and tricky journey. Healing is challengin­g because of the constant movement tissues must withstand as the heart beats. The same is true for vocal cords. Until now there was no injectable material strong enough for the job,” says McGill doctoral candidate Guangyu Bao.

“We hope that one day the new hydrogel will be used as an implant to restore the voice of people with damaged vocal cords, for example laryngeal cancer survivors.”

Bao explains the biomateria­l developed by him and his colleagues passed a rigorous stress test. The lab trial mimicked the extreme biomechani­cs of human vocal cords, vibrating at 120 times a second for more than 6 million cycles, and he says their formula “worked perfectly.”

The scientists claim the developmen­t, which is still being investigat­ed, may also open new opportunit­ies for tissue engineerin­g — including the creation of lungs to test COVID-19 treatments.

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 ?? ?? The synthetic material may help repair the heart
The synthetic material may help repair the heart

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