Engineering skeletal muscle repair.
Healthy skeletal muscle has a remarkable capacity for regeneration. Even at a mature age, muscle tissue can undergo a robust rebuilding process that involves the formation of new muscle cells and extracellular matrix and the re-establishment of vascular and neural networks. Understanding and reverse-engineering components of this process is essential for our ability to restore loss of muscle mass and function in cases where the natural ability of muscle for self-repair is exhausted or impaired. In this article, we will describe current approaches to restore the function of diseased or injured muscle through combined use of myogenic stem cells, biomaterials, and functional tissue-engineered muscle. Furthermore, we will discuss possibilities for expanding the future use of human cell sources toward the development of cell-based clinical therapies and in vitro models of human muscle disease.
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