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Clin Plast Surg. 2003 Oct;30(4):589-99.

Engineering of muscle tissue.

Author information

  • 1Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Erlangen, Krankenhausstrasse 12, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. Alexander.Bach@chir.imed.uni-erlangen.de


The loss or failure of an organ or tissue is one of the most frequent, devastating, and costly problems in health care. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of biology and engineering to the development of viable substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve the function of human tissues and organs. Tissue engineering science has provided critical new knowledge that will deepen our understanding of the phenotype of an important category of cell types-the muscle cells-and this knowledge may enable meaningful advances in musculoskeletal tissue engineering. There are two principle strategies for the replacement of impaired muscle tissues. One approach uses the application of isolated and differentiated cells (in vivo tissue engineering), using a transport matrix for the cell delivery; the other uses in vitro-designed and pre-fabricated tissue equivalents (in vitro tissue engineering). Future developments and the decision regarding which approach is more promising depend on the elucidation of the relationships among cell growth and differentiation, the three-dimensional environment, the architecture of the cells, and gene expression of the developmental process and the survival of the cells and integration in the host in in vivo experiments. As the techniques of tissue engineering become more sophisticated and as issues such as vascularization and innervation are addressed, the usefulness of these methods for reconstructive surgery may grow significantly.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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