In large-volume muscle injuries, widespread damage to muscle fibers and the surrounding connective tissue prevents myogenic progenitor cells (MPCs) from initiating repair. There is a clinical need to rapidly fabricate large muscle tissue constructs for integration at the site of large volume muscle injuries. Most strategies for myotube alignment require microfabricated structures or prolonged orientation times. We utilize the MPC's natural propensity to close gaps across an injury site to guide alignment on collagen I. When MPCs are exposed to an open boundary free of cells, they migrate unidirectionally into the cell-free region and align perpendicular to the original boundary direction. We study the utility of this phenomenon with biotin-streptavidin adhesion to position the cells on the substrate, and then demonstrate the robustness of this strategy with unmodified cells, creating a promising tool for MPC patterning without interrupting their natural function. We preposition MPCs in straight-line patterns separated with small gaps. This temporary positioning initiates the migratory nature of the MPCs to align and form myotubes across the gaps, similar to how they migrate and align with a single open boundary. There is a directional component to the MPC migration perpendicular (90°) to the original biotin-streptavidin surface patterns. The expression of myosin heavy chain, the motor protein of muscle thick filaments, is confirmed through immunocytochemistry in myotubes generated from MPCs in our patterning process, acting as a marker of skeletal muscle differentiation. The rapid and highly specific binding of biotin-streptavidin allows for quick formation of temporary patterns, with MPC alignment based on natural regenerative behavior rather than complex fabrication techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2024, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


  • biotin-streptavidin
  • cell adhesion
  • cell migration
  • cell patterning
  • myotube alignment
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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