Send to

Choose Destination
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Feb;98(2):706-13. Epub 2004 Oct 8.

Rapid formation of functional muscle in vitro using fibrin gels.

Author information

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


The transition of a muscle cell from a differentiated myotube into an adult myofiber is largely unstudied. This is primarily due to the difficulty of isolating specific developmental stimuli in vivo and the inability to maintain viable myotubes in culture for sufficient lengths of time. To address these limitations, a novel method for rapidly generating three-dimensional engineered muscles using fibrin gel casting has been developed. Myoblasts were seeded and differentiated on top of a fibrin gel. Cell-mediated contraction of the gel around artificial anchors placed 12 mm apart culminates 10 days after plating in a tubular structure of small myotubes (10-microm diameter) surrounded by a fibrin gel matrix. These tissues can be connected to a force transducer and electrically stimulated between parallel platinum electrodes to monitor physiological function. Three weeks after plating, the three-dimensional engineered muscle generated a maximum twitch force of 329 +/- 26.3 microN and a maximal tetanic force of 805.8 +/- 55 microN. The engineered muscles demonstrated normal physiological function including length-tension and force-frequency relationships. Treatment with IGF-I resulted in a 50% increase in force production, demonstrating that these muscles responded to hormonal interventions. Although the force production was maximal at 3 wk, constructs can be maintained in culture for up to 6 wk with no intervention. We conclude that fibrin-based gels provide a novel method to engineer three-dimensional functional muscle tissue and that these tissues may be used to model the development of skeletal muscle in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center