Skeletal Muscle Engineering

We aim to develop engineered muscle tissues for basic studies in vitro and replacement therapies in vivo. Over the last several years, we have established methods to precisely control engineered muscle tissue architecture, maintain a muscle stem cell pool within the engineered tissues, improve their force producing capacity to a level of native muscle, and generate tissue implants capable of vascularization, survival, and continued growth in vivo. Recently, we have reported first-time creation of electrically- and chemically-responsive, contractile human muscle constructs made of primary myogenic cells derived from muscle biopsies or surgical discards. Current projects in the area include:

  • Developing a high-throughput in vitro muscle injury and regeneration assay
  • Optimizing the maintenance of resident stem cells within rodent and human engineered muscles
  • Studying processes contributing to structural and functional maturation of skeletal muscle
  • Pre-conditioning engineered muscles for rapid vascularization and continued maturation upon implantation
  • Development of functional human iPS cell-derived skeletal muscles for modeling and studies of hereditary muscle diseases
  • Optimization of human engineered muscle platform for toxicological and pharmacological screening