Volumetric muscle loss (VML) resulting from injuries to skeletal muscles has profound consequences in healthcare. Current VML treatment based on the use of soft materials including biopolymers and decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) is challenging due to their incapability of stimulating the formation of satellite cells (SCs), muscle stem cells, which are required for muscle regeneration. Additional stem cells and/or growth factors have to be incorporated in these constructs for improved efficacy. Here we report an approach by using bioactive glasses capable of regenerating VML without growth factors or stem cells. One silicate and two borate compositions with different degradation rates (2.4% for silicate 45S5; 5.3% and 30.4% for borate 8A3B and 13-93B3, respectively, in simulated body fluid (SBF) at 37 °C for 30 days) were used for this study. Our in vitro models demonstrate the ability of ions released from bioactive glasses in promoting angiogenesis and stimulating cells to secrete critical muscle-related growth factors. We further show the activation of SCs and the regeneration of skeletal muscles in a rat VML model. Considering these promising results, this work reveals a potentially simple and safe approach to regenerating skeletal muscle defects. Statement of significance: (1) This is the first report on an inorganic material used in skeletal muscle regeneration through in vitro and in vivo models. (2) Bioactive glass is found to activate the production of satellite cells (SCs), muscle stem cells, without the incorporation of extra stem cells or growth factors. (3) The work represents a simple, safe, low-cost yet efficient means for healing muscle defects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology