Co-delivery of micronized urinary bladder matrix damps regenerative capacity of minced muscle grafts in the treatment of volumetric muscle loss injuries

Stephen M. Goldman, Benjamin T. Corona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Minced muscle grafts (MG) promote de novo muscle fiber regeneration and neuromuscular strength recovery in small and large animal models of volumetric muscle loss. The most noteworthy limitation of this approach is its reliance on a finite supply of donor tissue. To address this shortcoming, this study sought to evaluate micronized acellular urinary bladder matrix (UBM) as a scaffolding to promote in vivo expansion of this MG therapy in a rat model. Rats received volumetric muscle loss injuries to the tibialis anterior muscle of their left hind limb which were either left untreated or repaired with minced muscle graft at dosages of 50% and 100% of the defect mass, urinary bladder matrix in isolation, or a with an expansion product consisting of a combination of the two putative therapies in which the minced graft is delivered at a dosage of 50% of the defect mass. Rats survived to 2 and 8 weeks post injury before functional (in vivo neuromuscular strength), histological, morphological, and biochemical analyses were performed. Rats treated with the expansion product exhibited improved neuromuscular function relative to untreated VML after an 8 week time period following injury. This improvement in functional capacity, however, was accompanied with a concomitant reduction in graft mediated regeneration, as evidenced cell lineage tracing enable by a transgenic GFP expressing donor, and a mixed histological outcome indicating coincident fibrous matrix deposition with interspersed islands of nascent muscle fibers. Furthermore, quantitative immunofluorescence and transcriptional analysis following the 2 week time point suggests an exacerbated immune response to the UBM as a possible nidus for the observed suboptimal regenerative outcome. Moving forward, efforts related to the development of a MG expansion product should carefully consider the effects of the host immune response to candidate biomaterials in order to avoid undesirable dysregulation of pro-regenerative cross talk between the immune system and myogenic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0186593
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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