Milk could be the key to helping regrow muscle and eventually body parts.

A PhD student at New Zealand’s Canterbury University is using milk protein to create biodegradable films with 3D imprints in the shape of muscle and bone cells on them in the hope they may influence the shape and growth of cells.

Azadeh Hashemi is focused on creating those films using casein - one of the two proteins found in milk - so they are biodegradable and would not need to be removed if used as an implant.

“The aim of my work is to replicate a 3D imprint of cells on to films made of milk protein, to use them as a substrate for growing cells.

Development of the replication process and controlling the biodegradability of these films are the main parts of this work,” she says.

“The patterns on these biodegradable cell culture substrates mimic the cells’ natural physical environment and they can influence cell shape and growth.

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