Functional skeletal muscle formation with a biologic scaffold

Jolene E. Valentin, Neill J. Turner, Thomas W. Gilbert, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


Biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) have been used to reinforce or replace damaged or missing musculotendinous tissues in both preclinical studies and in human clinical applications. However, most studies have focused upon morphologic endpoints and few studies have assessed the in-situ functionality of newly formed tissue; especially new skeletal muscle tissue. The objective of the present study was to determine both the in-situ tetanic contractile response and histomorphologic characteristics of skeletal muscle tissue reconstructed using one of four test articles in a rodent abdominal wall model: 1) porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS)-ECM; 2) carbodiimide-crosslinked porcine SIS-ECM; 3) autologous tissue; or 4) polypropylene mesh. Six months after surgery, the remodeled SIS-ECM showed almost complete replacement by islands and sheets of skeletal muscle, which generated a similar maximal contractile force to native tissue but with greater resistance to fatigue. The autologous tissue graft was replaced by a mixture of collagenous connective tissue, adipose tissue with fewer islands of skeletal muscle compared to SIS-ECM and a similar fatigue resistance to native muscle. Carbodiimide-crosslinked SIS-ECM and polypropylene mesh were characterized by a chronic inflammatory response and produced little or no measurable tetanic force. The findings of this study show that non-crosslinked xenogeneic SIS scaffolds and autologous tissue are associated with the restoration of functional skeletal muscle with histomorphologic characteristics that resemble native muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7475-7484
Number of pages10
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ECM (extracellular matrix)
  • Muscle
  • SIS (small intestine submucosa)
  • Xenotransplantation


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