Faculty Advisor

Dr. George Pins

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ray Page

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Marsha Rolle


"Engineered muscle tissue offers a promising solution for the treatment of large muscle defects. Three-dimensional tissue engineered matrices, such as microthreads, can be used to grow new myofibers that will reduce scar formation and integrate easily into native myofibers. We hypothesize that adsorbing growth factors to the surface of braided collagen scaffolds using crosslinking strategies will promote muscle derived fibroblastic cell (MDFC) attachment and growth, which will serve as a platform for delivering cells to large muscle defects for muscle regeneration. To test this hypothesis, self-assembled type I collagen threads were braided and crosslinked using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) with and without heparin and 5 ng/mL, 10 ng/mL, or 50 ng/mL fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) bound to the surface. Using immunhistochemistry, braided collagen scaffolds showed the presence of FGF-2 on the surface, and braiding the microthreads increased the mechanical properties compared to single threads. To determine the effect of FGF-2 on MDFC attachment, growth, and alignment, scaffolds were seeded with a MDFC cell suspension for 4 hours using a PDMS mold with a sealed 1 mm by 12 mm channel and cultured for 1, 5, or 7 days. After 1 day of culture, the results show a significant increase in cell attachment on braids crosslinked with EDC/NHS with heparin and no significant difference in attachment between the different concentrations of FGF-2 and EDC/NHS crosslinked scaffolds. After 7 days in culture, the MDFCs responded to FGF-2 with a positive linear correlation between growth rate and concentration of FGF-2 on the surface. Additionally, all control scaffolds showed cellular alignment after 7 days, while MDFCs on FGF-2 modified scaffolds showed limited alignment. These results show braided collagen scaffolds crosslinked with EDC/NHS with heparin delivering a controlled quantity of FGF-2 can support MDFC attachment and growth, which may serve as an exciting new approach to facilitate the growth and ultimately the delivery of cells to large defects in muscle regeneration."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





collagen, muscle regeneration, microthreads