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Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Apr;16(4):1395-405. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0226.

Functional assessment of skeletal muscle regeneration utilizing homologous extracellular matrix as scaffolding.

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Department of Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Austin , Austin, TX, USA.


The loss of a portion of skeletal muscle poses a unique challenge for the normal regeneration of muscle tissue. A transection injury with tissue loss will not heal due to the gap between muscle segments. A damage model was developed by removing a portion of the lateral gastrocnemius (GAS) of Sprague-Dawley rats. Maximal isometric, tetanic tension (P(o)) was measured after the removal of either a small defect (0.5 x 1.0 cm) or a large defect (1.0 x 1.0 cm) piece of the GAS. In situ P(o) immediately after creation of the defect was 88.3 +/- 2.0% of the nonoperated contralateral GAS force for small defect and 76.9 +/- 3.2% of control for large defect. No functional recovery occurred in either group over the course of 28 days. To enhance recovery, a homologous, decellularized, muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) was implanted into the 1 x 1 cm defect of the lateral GAS of Lewis rats. After 42 days, growth of blood vessels and myofibers into the ECM was apparent, but no restoration of P(o) occurred. These data demonstrate the ability of the ECM to support muscle and blood vessel regeneration, but full recovery of function does not occur after 42 days.

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