Skeletal muscle tissue engineering (SMTE) aims to repair or regenerate defective skeletal muscle tissue lost by traumatic injury, tumor ablation, or muscular disease. However, two decades after the introduction of SMTE, the engineering of functional skeletal muscle in the laboratory still remains a great challenge, and numerous techniques for growing functional muscle tissues are constantly being developed. This article reviews the recent findings regarding the methodology and various technical aspects of SMTE, including cell alignment and differentiation. We describe the structure and organization of muscle and discuss the methods for myoblast alignment cultured in vitro. To better understand muscle formation and to enhance the engineering of skeletal muscle, we also address the molecular basics of myogenesis and discuss different methods to induce myoblast differentiation into myotubes. We then provide an overview of different coculture systems involving skeletal muscle cells, and highlight major applications of engineered skeletal muscle tissues. Finally, potential challenges and future research directions for SMTE are outlined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering