Open Access Open Badges Research article

Collagen matrices from sponge to nano: new perspectives for tissue engineering of skeletal muscle

Justus P Beier1*, Dorothee Klumpp1, Markus Rudisile2, Roland Dersch2, Joachim H Wendorff2, Oliver Bleiziffer1, Andreas Arkudas1, Elias Polykandriotis1, Raymund E Horch1 and Ulrich Kneser1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University Hospital of Erlangen, 91054 Erlangen, Germany

2 Department of Chemistry, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 35032 Marburg, Germany

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BMC Biotechnology 2009, 9:34  doi:10.1186/1472-6750-9-34

Published: 15 April 2009



Tissue engineering of vascularised skeletal muscle is a promising method for the treatment of soft tissue defects in reconstructive surgery. In this study we explored the characteristics of novel collagen and fibrin matrices for skeletal muscle tissue engineering. We analyzed the characteristics of newly developed hybrid collagen-I-fibrin-gels and collagen nanofibers as well as collagen sponges and OPLA®-scaffolds. Collagen-fibrin gels were also tested with genipin as stabilizing substitute for aprotinin.


Whereas rapid lysis and contraction of pure collagen I- or fibrin-matrices have been great problems in the past, the latter could be overcome by combining both materials. Significant proliferation of cultivated myoblasts was detected in collagen-I-fibrin matrices and collagen nanofibers. Seeding cells on parallel orientated nanofibers resulted in strongly aligned myoblasts. In contrast, common collagen sponges and OPLA®-scaffolds showed less cell proliferation and in collagen sponges an increased apoptosis rate was evident. The application of genipin caused deleterious effects on primary myoblasts.


Collagen I-fibrin mixtures as well as collagen nanofibers yield good proliferation rates and myogenic differentiation of primary rat myoblasts in vitro In addition, parallel orientated nanofibers enable the generation of aligned cell layers and therefore represent the most promising step towards successful engineering of skeletal muscle tissue.