Neuromuscular diseases are debilitating and mostly incurable, affecting 160 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. Disorders such as ALS and multiple sclerosis impact the function of muscles, causing muscle wastage and loss of motor function. A major hurdle in the fight against these diseases is the fact it is notoriously difficult to grow tissue in a lab that shows the connection between our muscles and the neurons that control them. Until now.

A biomedical engineering Ph.D. student at USC Viterbi School of Engineering joined forces with researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to create a vastly improved new lab-grown tissue model that offers a more stable view of the neuromuscular junction — an important part of our system that translates electrical impulses generated by the neurons in our spine into electrical activity and movement in our muscle fibers.

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