Design, evaluation, and application of engineered skeletal muscle.


For over two decades, research groups have been developing methods to engineer three-dimensional skeletal muscle tissues. These tissues hold great promise for use in disease modeling and pre-clinical drug development, and have potential to serve as therapeutic grafts for functional muscle repair. Recent advances in the field have resulted in the engineering of regenerative muscle constructs capable of survival, vascularization, and functional maturation in vivo as well as the first-time creation of functional human engineered muscles for screening of therapeutics in vitro. In this review, we will discuss the methodologies that have progressed work in the muscle tissue engineering field to its current state. The emphasis will be placed on the existing procedures to generate myogenic cell sources and form highly functional muscle tissues in vitro, techniques to monitor and evaluate muscle maturation and performance in vitro and in vivo, and surgical strategies to both create diseased environments and ensure implant survival and rapid integration into the host. Finally, we will suggest the most promising methodologies that will enable continued progress in the field.