Skeletal muscle comprises 40% of our total body weight. To investigate muscle disease, effective 3D models need to be in place which includes adequate access to human cells. Stem cells can provide a continuous supply of human cells. We can produce muscle cells from stem cells and generate a 3D muscle micro-tissue to explore pathology.
Scientists can cause these 3D muscle micro tissues to exhibit disease and subsequently trial various potential therapeutics to improve pathology and muscle functioning. This could help identify future medications to treat patients with muscle disease and improve their quality of life.
The Muscle Bioengineering lab have generated many 3D muscle micro-tissues from stem cells which are capable of producing force. We continue to investigate how we can improve the level of force production to match that of real life human muscle.
3D muscle micro-tissue. The blue marks cell nuclei, the yellow marks a neuronal-type cell and the red marks for muscle fibres (the cells which produce force).
Kaitlyn Bibby, Muscle Bioengineering Lab, MCRI