Skeletal muscles have a robust capacity to regenerate, but under compromised conditions, such as severe trauma, the loss of muscle functionality is inevitable. Research carried out in the field of skeletal muscle tissue engineering has elucidated multiple intrinsic mechanisms of skeletal muscle repair, and has thus sought to identify various types of cells and bioactive factors which play an important role during regeneration. In order to maximize the potential therapeutic effects of cells and growth factors, several biomaterial based strategies have been developed and successfully implemented in animal muscle injury models. A suitable biomaterial can be utilized as a template to guide tissue reorganization, as a matrix that provides optimum micro-environmental conditions to cells, as a delivery vehicle to carry bioactive factors which can be released in a controlled manner, and as local niches to orchestrate in situ tissue regeneration. A myriad of biomaterials, varying in geometrical structure, physical form, chemical properties, and biofunctionality have been investigated for skeletal muscle tissue engineering applications. In the current review, we present a detailed summary of studies where the use of biomaterials favorably influenced muscle repair. Biomaterials in the form of porous three-dimensional scaffolds, hydrogels, fibrous meshes, and patterned substrates with defined topographies, have each displayed unique benefits, and are discussed herein. Additionally, several biomaterial based approaches aimed specifically at stimulating vascularization, innervation, and inducing contractility in regenerating muscle tissues are also discussed. Finally, we outline promising future trends in the field of muscle regeneration involving a deeper understanding of the endogenous healing cascades and utilization of this knowledge for the development of multifunctional, hybrid, biomaterials which support and enable muscle regeneration under compromised conditions.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
The publications shown here are the articles indexed by PubMed, not the complete list of the lab's publications.