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Tissue Eng. 1999 Dec;5(6):525-32.

Skeletal muscle tissue engineering using isolated myoblasts on synthetic biodegradable polymers: preliminary studies.

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Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Skeletal muscle is responsible for the control of voluntary movement and the maintenance of structural contours of the body. Muscle loss or deficiency is encountered in various pathological states, and attempts to correct them have been employed with limited success. The aim of the present study was to tissue engineer three-dimensional vascularized skeletal muscle using isolated myoblasts attached to synthetic biodegradable polymer for tissue replacement in the enhancement of muscle regeneration. Myoblasts derived from neonatal rats (3-5-day-old), Fisher CDF-F344, were seeded onto polyglycolic acid meshes and implanted into the omentum of syngeneic adult Fisher CDF-F344 rats. Rats were sacrificed on day 30 and day 45 after the transplantation, and the cell-polymer constructs were harvested for morphological analysis. Histological analysis of the constructs were performed by hematoxylin and eosin, and immunohistochemical staining was positive for alpha sarcomeric actin and desmin skeletal muscle marker. Viable myoblasts organized between strands of degrading polymer mesh formed the new tissue, and vascularization of the entire construct was observed. Organization of neomuscle strands surrounded by vascularized tissue composed of degrading polymer and fusing myoblasts demonstrated the ability of myoblast constructs to survive, reorganize and regenerate tissue-like structures. Since myoblast transplantation to date has been limited to the cellular level of replacement, myoblast-polyglycolic acid constructs may be useful in defining the application of tissue engineering for future skeletal muscle transplantations.

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