Decellularized bovine skeletal muscle scaffolds: structural characterization and preliminary cytocompatibility evaluation

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Skeletal muscle degeneration is responsible for major mobility complications, and this muscle type has little regenerative capacity. Several biomaterials have been proposed to induce muscle regeneration and function restoration. Decellularized scaffolds present biological properties that allow efficient cell culture, providing a suitable microenvironment for artificial construct development and being an alternative for in vitro muscle culture. For translational purposes, biomaterials derived from large animals are an interesting and unexplored source for muscle scaffold production. Therefore, this study aimed to produce and characterize bovine muscle scaffolds to be applied to muscle cell 3D cultures. Bovine muscle fragments were immersed in decellularizing solutions for 7 days. Decellularization efficiency, structure, composition, and three-dimensionality were evaluated. Bovine fetal myoblasts were cultured on the scaffolds for 10 days to attest cytocompatibility. Decellularization was confirmed by DAPI staining and DNA quantification. Histological and immunohistochemical analysis attested to the preservation of main ECM components. SEM analysis demonstrated that the 3D structure was maintained. In addition, after 10 days, fetal myoblasts were able to adhere and proliferate on the scaffolds, attesting to their cytocompatibility. These data, even preliminary, infer that generated bovine muscular scaffolds were well structured, with preserved composition and allowed cell culture. This study demonstrated that biomaterials derived from bovine muscle could be used in tissue engineering.
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