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Keywords:

  • microfabricated scaffolds;
  • PAM system;
  • human skeletal muscle;
  • in vitro model;
  • mechanical testing;
  • in vitro testing

Abstract

The development of new human skeletal muscle tissue is an alternative approach to the replacement of tissue after severe damage, for example in the case of traumatic injury, where surgical reconstruction is often needed following major loss of natural tissue. Treatment to date has involved the transfer of muscle tissue from other sites, resulting in a functional loss and volume deficiency of donor sites. Approaches that seek to eliminate these problems include the relatively new solution of skeletal muscle engineering. Here there are two main components to consider: (a) the cells with their regenerative potential; and (b) the polymeric structure onto which cells are seeded and where they must perform their activities. In this paper we describe well-defined two- and three-dimensional polymeric structures able to drive the myoblast process of adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. We examine a series of polymers and protein adhesions with which to functionalize the structures, and cell-seeding methods, with a view to defining the optimal protocol for engineering skeletal muscle tissue. All polymer samples were tested for their mechanical and biological properties, to support the validity of our results in the real context of muscle tissue engineering. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.