The Francis Crick Institute
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Bioengineering human skeletal muscle models: Recent advances, current challenges and future perspectives.

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-06, 13:32 authored by Yunsong Jiang, Tugce Torun, Sara M Maffioletti, Andrea Serio, Francesco Saverio Tedesco
Engineering models of human skeletal muscle tissue provides unique translational opportunities to investigate and develop therapeutic strategies for acute muscle injuries, and to establish personalised and precision medicine platforms for in vitro studies of severe neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders. Several myogenic and non-myogenic cell types can be isolated, generated, amplified and combined with scaffolds and biomaterials to achieve this aim. Novel bio-fabrication strategies, which include exogenous stimuli to enhance tissue maturation, promise to achieve an ever-increasing degree of tissue functionalisation both in vivo and in vitro. Here we review recent advances, current challenges and future perspectives to build human skeletal muscle tissue "in a dish", focusing on the cellular constituents and on applications for in vitro disease modelling. We also briefly discuss the impact that emerging technologies such as 3D bioprinting, organ-on-chip and organoids might have to circumvent current technical hurdles in future studies.