Engineered skeletal muscle tissues could be useful for applications in tissue engineering, drug screening, and bio-robotics. It is well-known that skeletal muscle cells are able to differentiate under electrical stimulation (ES), with an increase in myosin production, along with the formation of myofibers and contractile proteins. In this study, we describe the use of an interdigitated array of electrodes as a novel platform to electrically stimulate engineered muscle tissues. The resulting muscle myofibers were analyzed and quantified in terms of their myotube characteristics and gene expression. The engineered muscle tissues stimulated through the interdigitated array of electrodes demonstrated superior performance and maturation compared to the corresponding tissues stimulated through a conventional setup (i.e., through Pt wires in close proximity to the muscle tissue). In particular, the ES of muscle tissue (voltage 6 V, frequency 1 Hz and duration 10 ms for 1 day) through the interdigitated array of electrodes resulted in a higher degree of C2C12 myotube alignment (∼80%) as compared to ES using Pt wires (∼65%). In addition, higher amounts of C2C12 myotube coverage area, myotube length, muscle transcription factors and protein biomarkers were found for myotubes stimulated through the interdigitated array of electrodes compared to those stimulated using the Pt wires. Due to the wide array of potential applications of ES for two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) engineered tissues, the suggested platform could be employed for a variety of cell and tissue structures to more efficiently investigate their response to electrical fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering