Skeletal muscle can repair muscle tissue damage, but significant loss of muscle tissue or its long-lasting chronic degeneration makes injured skeletal muscle tissue difficult to restore. It has been demonstrated that non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma (NTP) can be used in many biological areas including regenerative medicine. Therefore, we determined whether NTP, as a non-contact biological external stimulator that generates biological catalyzers, can induce regeneration of injured muscle without biomaterials. Treatment with NTP in the defected muscle of a Sprague Dawley (SD) rat increased the number of proliferating muscle cells 7 days after plasma treatment (dapt) and rapidly induced formation of muscle tissue and muscle cell differentiation at 14 dapt. In addition, in vitro experiments also showed that NTP could induce muscle cell proliferation and differentiation of human muscle cells. Taken together, our results demonstrated that NTP promotes restoration of muscle defects through control of cell proliferation and differentiation without biological or structural supporters, suggesting that NTP has the potential for use in muscle tissue engineering and regenerative therapies.
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