Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a non-invasive wearable soft robotic mechanism that can be tailored to the perfect force for age-related injuries treatment. Prompted by the discovery that mechanotherapy alone hinders the normal regeneration process of aged muscles by interacting with the immune system, the team looked deeper and found that administering anti-inflammatory therapy in the form of glucocorticoids alongside mechanotherapy enhances the positive impact. This suppression of key pro-inflammatory pathways and the reduction of inflammation levels in injured aged muscle result in an alternative avenue for recovery, regenerative repair, and faster healing not only for aged patients but for all ages. As many cellular processes of muscle healing and inflammation change with age, researchers believe emerging future wearable personalized therapies provide a scalable and efficient solution for muscle treatments across patients of all ages. Collaborations are at the forefront of advancing non-invasive wearable soft robotics from the academic stage to clinical realities, and researchers see new cross-disciplinary applications of mechanotherapies with immense potential to change patients’ lives.
Revolutionizing Elderly Care: Non-Invasive Muscle Therapy via Controlled Inflammation for Accelerated Recovery through Mechanical Loading, Paving the Way for Next-Generation Mechanotherapies.
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