The ability to freeze, revive, and prolong the lifetime of tissue-engineered skeletal muscle without incurring any loss of function represents a significant advancement in the field of tissue engineering. Cryopreservation enables the efficient fabrication, storage, and shipment of these tissues. This in turn facilitates multidisciplinary collaboration between research groups, enabling advances in skeletal muscle regenerative medicine, organ-on-a-chip models of disease, drug testing, and soft robotics. Furthermore, the observation that freezing undifferentiated skeletal muscle enhances functional performance may motivate future studies developing stronger and more clinically relevant engineered muscle.
Keywords: bioactuator; biobot; cryopreservation; cysteine cathepsins; skeletal muscle; tissue engineering.