Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Jeffrey C. Wolchok

Committee Member

Young Hye Song

Second Committee Member

Tyrone A. Washington

Keywords

Biomaterials, Muscle regeneration, Musculoskeletal, Scaffold, Tissue engineering, Volumetric muscle loss

Abstract

The progression of regenerative medicine has advanced the treatment of multiple illnesses and injuries throughout the years. A good example of the benefits of this research is the work that has gone into volumetric muscle loss (VML), where more than 20% of the muscle is loss. Skeletal muscle makes up 40% of the human body so a loss of that size greatly diminishes the strength, the flexibility, physiology, and quality of life of the injured individual. For that reason, various techniques are used to counteract the loss of structure and innate cellular signaling in order to circumvent that from happening. Muscle flaps, for instance, are used to avoid infection and to keep the remaining muscle from deteriorating more. However, this does nothing to counteract the muscle mass loss or preserve the strength prior to injury. Scaffolds, ECM gel, and minced muscle grafts can aid in provide a similar structure found in native muscle as well as provide some cellular signaling that can encourage cell infiltration, reinforcing the remaining supporting muscle. All of these treatment models utilize whole tissue which was then placed back into the defect, either as a plug, minced, or having cellular components removed into scaffolds. In this thesis, a reverse approach is explored wherein cellular components are used to build up and create a scaffold that can be used to treat VMLs as well as how it compares to previous repair strategies. Future directions goes into how this new scaffold research can be applied to in the future to further our understanding of, not only VML recovery, but various other injuries where fiber scaffolds would be a benefit.

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