3D Bioprinted Human Skeletal Muscle Constructs for Muscle Function Restoration


A bioengineered skeletal muscle tissue as an alternative for autologous tissue flaps, which mimics the structural and functional characteristics of the native tissue, is needed for reconstructive surgery. Rapid progress in the cell-based tissue engineering principle has enabled in vitro creation of cellularized muscle-like constructs; however, the current fabrication methods are still limited to build a three-dimensional (3D) muscle construct with a highly viable, organized cellular structure with the potential for a future human trial. Here, we applied 3D bioprinting strategy to fabricate an implantable, bioengineered skeletal muscle tissue composed of human primary muscle progenitor cells (hMPCs). The bioprinted skeletal muscle tissue showed a highly organized multi-layered muscle bundle made by viable, densely packed, and aligned myofiber-like structures. Our in vivo study presented that the bioprinted muscle constructs reached 82% of functional recovery in a rodent model of tibialis anterior (TA) muscle defect at 8 weeks of post-implantation. In addition, histological and immunohistological examinations indicated that the bioprinted muscle constructs were well integrated with host vascular and neural networks. We demonstrated the potential of the use of the 3D bioprinted skeletal muscle with a spatially organized structure that can reconstruct the extensive muscle defects.

engineered muscle, in-vitro, loss injury, rat model, tissue, cell, regeneration, hydrogel, myotubes, vivo