Extracellular matrix remodelling induced by alternating electrical and mechanical stimulations increases the contraction of engineered skeletal muscle tissues
Author(s)Kim, Hyeonyu; Kim, Min-Cheol; Asada, H. Harry
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Engineered skeletal muscles are inferior to natural muscles in terms of contractile force, hampering their potential use in practical applications. One major limitation is that the extracellular matrix (ECM) not only impedes the contraction but also ineffectively transmits the forces generated by myotubes to the load. In the present study, ECM remodelling improves contractile force in a short time, and a coordinated, combined electrical and mechanical stimulation induces the desired ECM remodelling. Notably, the application of single and combined stimulations to the engineered muscles remodels the structure of their ECM networks, which determines the mechanical properties of the ECM. Myotubes in the tissues are connected in parallel and in series to the ECM. The stiffness of the parallel ECM must be low not to impede contraction, while the stiffness of the serial ECM must be high to transmit the forces to the load. Both the experimental results and the mechanistic model suggest that the combined stimulation through coordination reorients the ECM fibres in such a way that the parallel ECM stiffness is reduced, while the serial ECM stiffness is increased. In particular, 3 and 20 minutes of alternating electrical and mechanical stimulations increase the force by 18% and 31%, respectively. ©2019, The Author(s).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Singapore-MIT Alliance in Research and Technology (SMART)
Kim, Hyeonyu et al., "Extracellular matrix remodelling induced by alternating electrical and mechanical stimulations increases the contraction of engineered skeletal muscle tissues." Scientific Reports 9, 1 (February 2019): no. 2732 doi. 10.1038/s41598-019-39522-6 ©2019 Author(s)
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