Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Wolchok, Jeffrey


Muscles have the natural ability to regenerate when damaged. This works to keep the body functioning, unless this ability is overwhelmed. Volumetric muscle loss (VML) occurs when a substantial amount of a muscles mass is lost. This leads to the development of scar tissue, and often a loss of function. In order to find a solution for this condition, in vitro models are needed to explore the mechanobiology of skeletal muscle cells. Two platforms were developed in this study, to explore 3 factors: orientation, strain, and supporting structure. One platform used fibronectin stamped lanes on PDMS to encourage cell growth at specified orientations, which were then subjected to tension. There was increased myotube formation in samples where the stamped lanes aligned with the direction of strain. The strain resulted in an increased fusion index, though it was discovered that there was a limit to the strain that the cells could favorably function under. The second platform was used to determine if a supporting scaffold helped the regenerative process. Longitudinal sections of decellularized human skeletal muscle (hDSM) were taken on slides for porosity measurements, and on PDMS/coverslip constructs to test cell viability. An average porosity measurement was calculated from the slide samples, while the construct sample were cultured with cells and exposed to two different conditions. Both were cultured with C2C12 cells in growth media for three days, but while one set of samples was fixed at that point, the other set was cultured in differentiation media for an additional four days. There was successful cell proliferation on the samples, and an increase in growth could be seen in the 7 day samples. The future direction of this study is to combine these two platforms, and subject aligned hDSM samples to tension to better determine beneficial components that will lead to insight into skeletal muscle cell mechanobiology.