Biomaterials-Based Technologies in Skeletal Muscle Tissue Engineering

Adv Healthc Mater. 2024 May 7:e2304196. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202304196. Online ahead of print.


For many clinically prevalent severe injuries, the inherent regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle remains inadequate. Skeletal muscle tissue engineering (SMTE) seeks to meet this clinical demand. With continuous progress in biomedicine and related technologies including micro/nanotechnology and 3D printing, numerous studies have uncovered various intrinsic mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle regeneration and developed tailored biomaterial systems based on these understandings. Here, the skeletal muscle structure and regeneration process are discussed and the diverse biomaterial systems derived from various technologies are explored in detail. Biomaterials serve not merely as local niches for cell growth, but also as scaffolds endowed with structural or physicochemical properties that provide tissue regenerative cues such as topographical, electrical, and mechanical signals. They can also act as delivery systems for stem cells and bioactive molecules that have been shown as key participants in endogenous repair cascades. To achieve bench-to-bedside translation, the typical effect enabled by biomaterial systems and the potential underlying molecular mechanisms are also summarized. Insights into the roles of biomaterials in SMTE from cellular and molecular perspectives are provided. Finally, perspectives on the advancement of SMTE are provided, for which gene therapy, exosomes, and hybrid biomaterials may hold promise to make important contributions.

Keywords: 3D bioprinting; biomaterials; exosomes; micro/nanotechnologies; ncRNA; skeletal muscle; tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Review