Within the research activities of skeletal muscle tissue engineering there are many works finalized to study the cell culture techniques that realize in vitro the differentiation and development processes of skeletal muscle cells. Such processes are necessary to engineer skeletal-muscle constructs, characterized by structure and functions similar to the natural tissues. These studies have shown the importance of biochemical and biomechanics characteristics in tissue engineering.
Screening of biomaterial and tissue systems in vitro, for guidance of performance in vivo, remains a major requirement in the field of tissue engineering. It is critical to understand how culture stimulation affects both tissue construct maturation and function, with the goal of eliminating resource-intensive trial-and-error screening and better matching specifications for various in vivo needs.
Although the engineered tissues cultivated in vitro with static culture, are able to reproduce the in vivo morphological development, succeeding in getting the myogenic cell fusion in multinucleated myofibers and the progressive increase in the synthesis and in the organization of the specific muscle proteins, notable functional insufficiencies are noticed in comparison to the natural tissue. Studies in literature ave hypothesized that mechanical and electric stimulations, similar to those the muscle fibers are submitted in vivo, could organize and optimize the morphology and the functionality of the in vitro produced skeletal muscle constructs.
Cardiac tissue engineering aims to engineer a contractile patch of physiological thickness to use in surgical repair of diseased heart tissue. We previously reported that perfusion of engineered cardiac constructs resulted in improved tissue assembly. Because heart tissues respond to mechanical stimuli in vitro and experience rhythmic mechanical forces during contraction in vivo, we hypothesized that provision of pulsatile interstitial medium flow to an engineered cardiac patch would result in enhanced tissue assembly by way of mechanical conditioning and improved mass transport.
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