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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 1998;9(7):731-48.

Skeletal myogenesis on elastomeric substrates: implications for tissue engineering.

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University of Utah, Department of Bioengineering, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


Studies geared towards understanding the interaction between skeletal muscle and biomaterials may provide useful information for the development of various emerging technologies, ranging from novel delivery vehicles for genetically modified cells to fully functional skeletal muscle tissue. To determine the utility of elastomeric materials as substrates for such applications, we asked whether skeletal myogenesis would be supported on a commercially available polyurethane, Tecoflex SG-80A. G8 skeletal myoblasts were cultured on Tecoflex two-dimensional solid thin films fabricated by a spin-casting method. Myoblasts attached, proliferated, displayed migratory activity and differentiated into multinucleated myotubes which expressed myosin heavy chain on solid thin films indicating that Tecoflex SG-80A was permissive for skeletal myogenesis. Porous three-dimensional (3-D) cell scaffolds were fabricated in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, and porosities by an immersion precipitation method, and where subsequently characterized with microscopic and mechanical methods. Mechanical analysis revealed that the constructs were elastomeric, recovering their original length following 100% elongation. The 3-D substrates were seeded with muscle precursors to determine if muscle differentiation could be obtained within the porous network of the fabricated constructs. Following several weeks in culture, histological studies revealed the presence of multinucleated myotubes within the elastomeric material. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis indicated that the myotubes expressed the myosin heavy chain protein suggesting that the myotubes had reached a state of terminal differentiation. Together the results of the study suggest that it is indeed feasible to engineer bioartificial systems consisting of skeletal muscle cultivated on a 3-D elastomeric substrate.

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