A defined system to allow skeletal muscle differentiation and subsequent integration with silicon microstructures

Biomaterials. 2006 Aug;27(24):4374-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.03.046. Epub 2006 May 2.


This work documents the development of an in vitro cell culture model consisting of a novel serum-free medium and a non-biological growth substrate, N-1[3 (trimethoxysilyl) propyl] diethylenetriamine (DETA), to enable functional myotube integration with cantilevers fabricated using MEMS technology. This newly developed, defined in vitro model was used to study the differentiation of fetal rat skeletal muscle and it promoted the formation of myotubes from the dissociated rat fetal muscle cells. The myotubes were characterized by morphological analysis, immunocytochemistry and electrophysiology. Further, it was demonstrated that when the dissociated muscle cells were plated on fabricated microcantilevers, the muscle cells aligned along the major axis of the cantilever and formed robust myotubes. This novel system could not only find applications in skeletal muscle differentiation and biocompatibility studies but also in bioartificial muscle engineering, hybrid actuation system development, biorobotics and for a better understanding of myopathies and neuromuscular disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Rats
  • Silicon*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Silicon