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Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2009;112:39-79. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-69357-4_3.

Bioreactors for guiding muscle tissue growth and development.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, USA.


Muscle tissue bioreactors are devices which are employed to guide and monitor the development of engineered muscle tissue. These devices have a modern history that can be traced back more than a century, because the key elements of muscle tissue bioreactors have been studied for a very long time. These include barrier isolation and culture of cells, tissues and organs after isolation from a host organism; the provision of various stimuli intended to promote growth and maintain the muscle, such as electrical and mechanical stimulation; and the provision of a perfusate such as culture media or blood derived substances. An accurate appraisal of our current progress in the development of muscle bioreactors can only be made in the context of the history of this endeavor. Modern efforts tend to focus more upon the use of computer control and the application of mechanical strain as a stimulus, as well as substrate surface modifications to induce cellular organization at the early stages of culture of isolated muscle cells.

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