3D Bioprinting and Differentiation of Primary Skeletal Muscle Progenitor Cells
Volumetric loss of skeletal muscle can occur through sports injuries, surgical ablation, trauma, motor or industrial accident, and war-related injury. Likewise, massive and ultimately catastrophic muscle cell loss occurs over time with progressive degenerative muscle diseases, such as the muscular dystrophies. Repair of volumetric loss of skeletal muscle requires replacement of large volumes of tissue to restore function. Repair of larger lesions cannot be achieved by injection of stem cells or muscle progenitor cells into the lesion in absence of a supportive scaffold that (1) provides trophic support for the cells and the recipient tissue environment, (2) appropriate differentiational cues, and (3) structural geometry for defining critical organ/tissue components/niches necessary or a functional outcome. 3D bioprinting technologies offer the possibility of printing orientated 3D structures that support skeletal muscle regeneration with provision for appropriately compartmentalized components ranging across regenerative to functional niches. This chapter includes protocols that provide for the generation of robust skeletal muscle cell precursors and methods for their inclusion into methacrylated gelatin (GelMa) constructs using 3D bioprinting.