Interaction between electrical stimulation, protein coating and matrix elasticity: a complex effect on muscle fibre maturation

K. J. M. Boonen, D. W. J. van der Schaft, Frank P. T. Baaijens, M. J. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


In skeletal muscle tissue engineering, it remains a challenge to produce mature, functional muscle tissue. Mimicking the in vivo niche in in vitro culture might overcome this problem. Niche components include, for example, extracellular matrix proteins, neighbouring cells, growth factors and physical factors such as the elasticity of the matrix. Previously, we showed the effects of matrix stiffness and protein coating on proliferation and differentiation of muscle progenitor cells in a two-dimensional (2D) situation. In the present study we have investigated the additional effect of electrical stimulation. More precisely, we investigated the effect of electrical stimulation on primary myoblast maturation when cultured on top of Matrigel? - or laminin-coated substrates with varying elasticities. The effect of electrical stimulation on differentiation and maturation was found to be dependent on coating and stiffness. Although electrical stimulation enhanced myoblast maturation, the effect was mild. We therefore conclude that, with the current regimen, electrical stimulation is not essential to create functional, mature muscle tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • muscle progenitor cells
  • electrical stimulation
  • substrate elasticity
  • matrix proteins
  • maturation
  • differentiation

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