Tissue engineering may provide an alternative to cell injection as a therapeutic solution for myocardial infarction. A tissue-engineered muscle patch may offer better host integration and higher functional performance. This study examined the differentiation of skeletal myoblasts on aligned electrospun polyurethane (PU) fibers and in the presence of electromechanical stimulation. Skeletal myoblasts cultured on aligned PU fibers showed more pronounced elongation, better alignment, higher level of transient receptor potential cation channel-1 (TRPC-1) expression, upregulation of contractile proteins and higher percentage of striated myotubes compared to those cultured on random PU fibers and film. The resulting tissue constructs generated tetanus forces of 1.1 mN with a 10-ms time to tetanus. Additional mechanical, electrical, or synchronized electromechanical stimuli applied to myoblasts cultured on PU fibers increased the percentage of striated myotubes from 70 to 85% under optimal stimulation conditions, which was accompanied by an upregulation of contractile proteins such as alpha-actinin and myosin heavy chain. In describing how electromechanical cues can be combined with topographical cue, this study helped move towards the goal of generating a biomimetic microenvironment for engineering of functional skeletal muscle.
nanotopography tissue engineering skeletal muscle electromechanical stimulation biomimetic microenvironment regenerative medicine nanofibers skeletal-muscle myoblasts in-vitro c2c12 myotubes differentiation cells activation proteins transplantation transcription morphology