Incorporation of In Vitro Double Seeding for Enhanced Development of Tissue Engineered Skeletal Muscle Implants

Smith, Kimberly, Biomedical Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Christ, George

Previous work in our lab observed significant improvement in short-term functional recovery of Volumetric Muscle Loss (VML) injuries when more cells were delivered to the wound bed. Building directly from this work, the overriding hypothesis of this study was that second-generation Tissue Engineered Muscle Repair constructs, or TEMR IIs, made possible by specialized bioreactor preconditioning, would yield significant long-term functional improvements to VML injuries in large, immune-competent muscle models. To this end, VML injuries, with or without the implanted TEMR II technology, were examined in an established murine model for their ability to enable restoration of function and native tissue morphology. We were able to demonstrate that TEMR II does, in fact, significantly improve the functional recovery of VML injuries both in the short term (2 months) and long-term (6 months) post-injury. Furthermore, we had success in designing a bioreactor that made TEMR II technology possible by minimally disturbing cell layers during the re-seeding process. These successes encourage future study of this technology as a plausible solution to VML in humans.

MS (Master of Science)
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