Bioreactors and Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering of Skeletal Muscle
Juliana Amaral Passipieri
All VML injuries are not equivalent, and represent a virtual continuum of magnitudes and complexities, that will likely be treated by a corresponding spectrum of technologies. Currently rotational grafts provide the source for donor muscle tissue, with considerable associated morbidity. In many instances, this approach is not feasible, and the patient is left with permanent functional disfigurement and the associated loss of quality of life, self-esteem, as well as a high level of morbidity. Our working hypothesis is that a carefully orchestrated approach to selection of optimized scaffold biomaterials, cell seeding methods, and bioreactor protocols for distinct VML injuries (i.e., sheet-like latissimus dorsi-LD injuries versus more complex 3D Tibialis anterior-TA VML injuries) will lead to identification of improved, and perhaps VML-injury specific, technology options. The overall goal of this proposal is preclinical development and pilot clinical testing of scalable, implantable Tissue Engineered Muscle Repair (TEMR) technology platform capable of improved cosmesis and functional restoration for treatment of volumetric muscle loss (VML) injuries in Wounded Warriors and Civilians (Figure 1). This work is part of the Craniofacial Regeneration program of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CF-08; AFIRM). Our key faculty collaborators are Mark Wong and Phil Freeman from UT-Houston, and David Kaplan from Tufts University.