Scientists have created an artificial material that mimics the tough, stretchy properties of muscle – a potential application as a "scaffold" to aid muscle regeneration. A US-Canadian team of researchers engineered a polymer to reproduce the properties of titin - a protein which largely determines the elastic properties of muscle. Scientists cross-linked the polymers to form a solid, rubber-like material. The authors suggest that the properties of this material could even be fine-tuned to resemble specific types of muscle by adjusting the compositions of the proteins. Initially, the discovery could assist in the healing of tissue tears, acting as a tough stretchy scaffold that allows new tissue to grow across the wound. But scientists will have to test whether the material is compatibile with human tissue.