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Improving Force Generation of In Vitro Skeletal Muscle Tissue Models

Three-dimensional (3D) physiologically relevant culture assays are necessary to develop in vitro tissue models to understand the functions of various tissue types and recapitulate these features in vitro. In the case of skeletal muscle tissues, 3D culture assays have advanced our understanding of muscle differentiation and function, but they are currently not a reliable model system mainly due to the significant deficiency in the force generation capability of in vitro tissue constructs compared to in vivo tissues. We hypothesize that the contraction forces of skeletal muscle tissues are strongly influenced by the physical microenvironment of cells and the mechanical boundary conditions of the tissue. To understand these effects and improve force generation of engineered skeletal muscle tissue, we developed a physiologically relevant culture platform by incorporating fibroblasts into 3D muscle tissues and by increasing the stiffness of anchors. We have seen that collectively, these changes increase contraction forces significantly while maintaining the viability of tissue under high force in vitro.

Author: 
Oluwasanmi Ariyo
School: 
Pennsylvania State University
Department: 
Biomedical Engineering
Research Advisor: 
Dr. Taher Saif
Department of Research Advisor: 
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Year of Publication: 
2017