Growing muscle fibers in vitro

Our daily life creates many tiny muscular injuries that remain usually unnoticed because of the strong regenerative power of muscles. Due to the complex architecture of muscle fibers, the study of human muscle repair remains particularly challenging and effective methods for in vitro muscle fiber culture are still looked for.


A new simple tool to grow human muscle fibers

In a recent study published in Skeletal Muscle, scientists from Prof. Maud Frieden’s group describe their new 2D culture system that allow to grow more easily human muscle fibers. By using a nanoscale striated surface, they were able to reproduce in vitro the normal muscle orientation with high level of internal fiber organization (see Figure below). Their method solves also the frequently encountered problem of muscle fiber survival time, allowing fibers to be kept alive for a dozen days instead of three to four days.


Muscle fibers grown on a conventional dish with a flat surface (left) are not well organized compared to muscle fibers grown on a nanoscale striated surface. Scale bar: 50 µm © from Brunetti et al. in Skeletal Muscle.


What’s next?

Being able to grow human muscle fibers for a dozen of days, scientists can now investigate more deeply the process of muscle regeneration. They hope in particular to disentangle the roles of the different proteins involved in a pathway of particular importance for muscles, the store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) pathway.




18 May 2021