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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Feb;113(2):595-602; discussion 603-4.

Contractile skeletal muscle tissue-engineered on an acellular scaffold.

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Department of Mechanical and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


For the reconstructive surgeon, tissue-engineered skeletal muscle may offer reduced donor-site morbidity and an unlimited supply of tissue. Using an acellularized mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle as a scaffold, the authors produced engineered skeletal muscle capable of generating longitudinal force. Eight extensor digitorum longus muscles from adult mice were made acellular using a protocol developed in the authors' laboratory. The acellular muscles were then placed in a bath of 20% fetal bovine serum in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium and 100 U/ml penicillin for 1 week at room temperature. C2C12 myoblasts were injected into the acellular muscle matrix using a 26-gauge needle and a 100-microl syringe. The resulting constructs were placed in growth medium for 1 week at 37 degrees C under 5% carbon dioxide, with media changes every 48 hours. The constructs were then placed in differentiation medium for 1 week, with media changes every 48 hours. Isometric contractile force testing of the constructs demonstrated production of longitudinal contractile force on electrical stimulation. A length-tension, or Starling, relationship was observed. Light and electron microscopy studies demonstrated recapitulation of some of the normal histologic features of developing skeletal muscle.

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