Scalable 3D printed molds for human tissue engineered skeletal muscle

Andrew J. Capel, Rowan P. Rimington, Jacob W. Fleming, Darren J. Player, Luke A. Baker, Mark C. Turner, Julia M. Jones, Neil R.W. Martin, Richard A. Ferguson, Vivek C. Mudera, Mark P. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Tissue engineered skeletal muscle allows investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle pathology. The fabricated model must resemble characteristics of in vivo tissue and incorporate cost-effective and high content primary human tissue. Current models are limited by low throughput due to the complexities associated with recruiting tissue donors, donor specific variations, as well as cellular senescence associated with passaging. This research presents a method using fused deposition modeling (FDM) and laser sintering (LS) 3D printing to generate reproducible and scalable tissue engineered primary human muscle, possessing aligned mature myotubes reminiscent of in vivo tissue. Many existing models are bespoke causing variability when translated between laboratories. To this end, a scalable model has been developed (25-500 μL construct volumes) allowing fabrication of mature primary human skeletal muscle. This research provides a strategy to overcome limited biopsy cell numbers, enabling high throughput screening of functional human tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Issue numberFeb
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Capel, Rimington, Fleming, Player, Baker, Turner, Jones, Martin, Ferguson, Mudera and Lewis. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • 3D printing
  • Bioengineering
  • Primary skeletal muscle
  • Skeletal muscle physiology
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Histology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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