Physiology and metabolism of tissue-engineered skeletal muscle.


Skeletal muscle is a major target for tissue engineering, given its relative size in the body, fraction of cardiac output that passes through muscle beds, as well as its key role in energy metabolism and diabetes, and the need for therapies for muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia. To date, most studies with tissue-engineered skeletal muscle have utilized murine and rat cell sources. On the other hand, successful engineering of functional human muscle would enable different applications including improved methods for preclinical testing of drugs and therapies. Some of the requirements for engineering functional skeletal muscle include expression of adult forms of muscle proteins, comparable contractile forces to those produced by native muscle, and physiological force-length and force-frequency relations. This review discusses the various strategies and challenges associated with these requirements, specific applications with cultured human myoblasts, and future directions.