Aligned Collagen Sponges with Tunable Pore Size for Skeletal Muscle Tissue Regeneration

Natalie G. Kozan, Sean Caswell, Milan Patel, Jonathan M. Grasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Volumetric muscle loss (VML) is a traumatic injury where at least 20% of the mass of a skeletal muscle has been destroyed and functionality is lost. The standard treatment for VML, autologous tissue transfer, is limited as approximately 1 in 10 grafts fail because of necrosis or infection. Tissue engineering strategies seek to develop scaffolds that can regenerate injured muscles and restore functionality. Many of these scaffolds, however, are limited in their ability to restore muscle functionality because of an inability to promote the alignment of regenerating myofibers. For aligned myofibers to form on a scaffold, myoblasts infiltrate the scaffold and receive topographical cues to direct targeted myofiber growth. We seek to determine the optimal pore size for myoblast infiltration and differentiation. We developed a method of tuning the pore size within collagen scaffolds while inducing longitudinal alignment of these pores. Significantly different pore sizes were generated by adjusting the freezing rate of the scaffolds. Scaffolds frozen at −20 °C contained the largest pores. These scaffolds promoted the greatest level of cell infiltration and orientation in the direction of pore alignment. Further research will be conducted to induce higher levels of myofiber formation, to ultimately create an off-the-shelf treatment for VML injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number533
JournalJournal of Functional Biomaterials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • biomaterial
  • collagen
  • pore size
  • porosity
  • scaffold
  • skeletal muscle
  • skeletal muscle tissue engineering
  • tissue engineering
  • volumetric muscle loss


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