Volumetric Muscle Loss: A Bibliometric Analysis of a Decade of Progress

Jonathan Kulwatno, Stephen M. Goldman, Christopher L. Dearth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The consequences of military conflict, accidents, and diseases have led to the definition - and subsequent study - of the pathological condition now known as volumetric muscle loss (VML). VML is a significant injury to skeletal muscle tissue on a scale that is endogenously irrecoverable and leads to chronic functional deficits and long-term disability. Currently, there lacks a definitive approach to meaningfully restore the tissue and function lost by those afflicted, ushering a need for scientific activities and associated funding to both facilitate a deeper understanding of the pathobiology of VML as well as to develop and assess clinically relevant therapeutics and treatment strategies. Thereby, evaluation of the VML field is crucial to gauging the return on resource expenditures and to understand the evolution of the field to guide future directions. This article presents a bibliometric analysis of publicly available data to explore the growth of the VML field since its genesis and to highlight its prosperity through its expanding literature, its development and evaluation of promising treatment strategies, rising financial investments, and innovation. Altogether, the bibliometric analysis reveals the field of VML as an emergent research focus that is productive and translational. Analyses of a research topic are fundamental toward evaluating the returns on investment and appreciating the evolution of the research toward novel directions. This study aims to highlight the growing field of volumetric muscle loss (VML), defined as a significant injury to skeletal muscle tissue that leads to functional impairment and is irrecoverable through inherent regenerative mechanisms. The analysis of bibliometric and publicly available data provides evidence that the field of VML has an expanding research interest and investment, with biomaterials at the forefront of study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part B: Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • biomaterials
  • military medicine
  • regenerative medicine
  • skeletal muscle
  • trauma


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