Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Jeffrey C. Wolchok

Committee Member

Narasimhan Rajaram

Second Committee Member

Tyrone Washington

Abstract

The performance of extracellular matrix (ECM) biological scaffolds for the treatment of volumetric muscle loss (VML) has shown promising results with regenerating native muscle in animal models and human patients. However, the limitations of these scaffolds include non-specific characteristics based on the original parameters of the muscle that is lost and this is why our group chose to characterize human skeletal ECM. By understanding the characteristics of the native human skeletal ECM, more desired queues for the biological scaffolds being used to treat VML can be provided. Upper limb and lower limb skeletal muscles were commercially obtained, decellularized using common techniques, and underwent biochemical and physical assessment. The presence of collagen and glycosaminoglycans were identified within the human skeletal ECM. The mechanical strength and overall alignment of the human skeletal ECM was also evaluated. The human skeletal ECM supported an in-vivo degradation assessment and showed signs of tolerance within the in-vivo model. The results of the current study suggest that the location and gender of the original muscle indeed plays a significant role between the two ECM muscle types within some of the characterization tests. We believe we are the first group to characterize human skeletal muscle ECM with the intent to mimic these parameters. A future direction for this project would be to incorporate these parameters found within this study into our engineered ECM being produced within our lab.

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