• Open Access

Use of a novel collagen matrix with oriented pore structure for muscle cell differentiation in cell culture and in grafts


*Correspondence to: Volker KROEHNE,
Biotechnology Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden,
Dresden University of Technology Tatzberg 47-51, D-01307 Dresden
Tel.: +49 35 14 63 40 10 5
Fax: +49 35 14 63 40 34 8
E-mail: volker.kroehne@biotec.tu-dresden.de


Tissue engineering of skeletal muscle from cultured cells has been attempted using a variety of synthetic and natural macromolecular scaffolds. Our study describes the application of artificial scaffolds (collagen sponges, CS) consisting of collagen-I with parallel pores (width 20–50 μm) using the permanent myogenic cell line C2C12. CS were infiltrated with a high-density cell suspension, incubated in medium for proliferation of myoblasts prior to further culture in fusion medium to induce differentiation and formation of multinucleated myotubes. This resulted in a parallel arrangement of myotubes within the pore structures. CS with either proliferating cells or with myotubes were grafted into the beds of excised anterior tibial muscles of immunodeficient host mice. The recipient mice were transgenic for enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) to determine a host contribution to the regenerated muscle tissue. Histological analysis 14–50 days after surgery showed that donor muscle fibres had formed in situ with host contributions in the outer portions of the regenerates. The function of the regenerates was assessed by direct electrical stimulation which resulted in the generation of mechanical force. Our study demonstrated that biodegradable CS with parallel pores support the formation of oriented muscle fibres and are compatible with force generation in regenerated muscle.