1. Human Biology and Medicine
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Tissue Engineering: Muscling in on the third dimension

  1. Mohsen Afshar Bakooshli
  2. Penney M Gilbert  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Toronto, Canada
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e06430 doi: 10.7554/eLife.06430
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Bioengineered skeletal muscle that responds like human muscle tissue.

In the early 1980s scientists figured out how to grow muscle fibers from single cells (shown in red) in a two-dimensional plastic culture dish. However, it was necessary to expose the 2D cell culture (left) to a complex mixture of molecules to make it responsive to electrical stimulation. Madden et al. have now overcome this long-standing challenge; by using a custom three-dimensional culture device (right) and with just the right protein-rich scaffold (in yellow), they generated muscle fibers that respond to electrical and biochemical cues just like normal skeletal muscle tissue.

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