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Medical News Today Quotes Dr. Bert Mandelbaum: Why are scientists massaging mice with robots?

  • A new study finds that robot-delivered mechanotherapy decreased muscle damage and boosted muscle repair in mice with a severe skeletal leg muscle injury.
  • The scientists also found that mechanotherapy caused a reduction in certain white blood cells responsible for inflammation.
  • Next, scientists will need to confirm whether mechanotherapy has the same effects in humans with severe skeletal muscle injury and whether it can be used clinically.

Skeletal muscle enables the body to move and maintain posture. Direct injury — for instance, from trauma — can impair a person’s movement and quality of life.

People have been using massage and other mechanotherapies for thousands of years to soothe aching and injured muscles. However, the science behind the effects of massage has not been examined in detail.

“Lots of people have been trying to study the beneficial effects of massage and other mechanotherapies on the body, but up to this point, it hadn’t been done in a systematic, reproducible way,” explains lead author of the current study Dr. Bo Ri Seo, Ph.D.

“Our work shows a very clear connection between mechanical stimulation and immune function,” he continues.

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