Engineering skeletal muscle - from two to three dimensions
Large skeletal muscle defects remain a challenge for pa- tients and surgeons alike. While small injuries resulting in tears and lacerations can be repaired by the body's own regenerative mechanisms, loss of over 20% of muscle will lead to scarring, denervation and loss of function (Turner and Badylak, 2012). This can occur in cases of trauma, tumour, surgery and degenerative disease, which overwhelm the body's repair mechanisms and result in changed anatomy and weakened muscle groups. Loss of limb is another consequence of these disease processes. Restoring mobility and independence is a major recon- structive challenge, for which tissue engineering may of- fer a solution.