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Disease models

Engineered skeletal muscle tissue to model diseased muscle

Engineered skeletal muscle could help identify new muscle-regenerating therapies. Neonatal rat myogenic cells cultured for
two weeks resulted in the generation of highly organized muscle bundles composed of laminin-surrounded myofibers encased by fibroblasts, which resembles native muscle. The engineered muscle responded to electrical stimulation and underwent satellite cell-mediated regeneration following muscle injury. In nude mice, implantation of engineered muscles led to vascularization, spontaneous contraction and increased muscle force generation after two weeks post-implantation, whereas implantation of undifferentiated muscle cells led to less integration and function. Next steps include designing a functional human muscle for disease modeling.

SciBX 7(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.502
Published online May 1, 2014

Findings unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Juhas, M. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online March 31, 2014;
Contact: Nenad Bursac, Duke University, Durham, N.C.