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Muscle on a Chip: State of the Art

Why a muscle on a chip?

FUN FACT: Skeletal muscles account for 40% of the total body weight in humans and consume about 30% of energy intake.

Skeletal muscles are also called striated muscle. Excessive loss of muscle mass often come with chronic pathologies, aggravating the general condition of the patient, which can result in cachexia. Most musculoskeletal disorders do not have a curative treatment yet. Some diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Duchenne’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease still do not have an effective treatment.

In parallel, some treatments of chronic diseases (diabetes, cholesterol) have undesirable effects on the striated muscles. Having access to a muscle on a chip would investigate the occurrence of such adverse effects and a better prediction of the effects of a drug candidate during the clinical phase.

Fig1 Muscle Anatomy - Muscle on a chip [Organ on a chip]

Fig1 Muscle Anatomy


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1 : Elife. 2015 Jan 9;4:e04885. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04885. Bioengineered human myobundles mimic clinical responses of skeletal muscle to drugs. Madden L, Juhas M, Kraus WE, Truskey GA, Bursac N.

2: Sci Adv. 2016 Aug 3;2(8):e1501429. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1501429. eCollection 2016 Aug. Microfluidic device for the formation of optically excitable, three-dimensional, compartmentalized motor units. Uzel SG, Platt RJ, Subramanian V, Pearl TM, Rowlands CJ, Chan V, Boyer LA, So PT, Kamm RD

3: FASEB J. 2009 Oct; 23(10): 3325–3334. Automated drug screening with contractile muscle tissue engineered from dystrophic myoblasts. Herman Vandenburgh, Janet Shansky, Frank Benesch-Lee, Kirsten Skelly, Janelle M. Spinazzola, Yero Saponjian, and Brian S. Tseng

4: J Cell Biol. 2016 Oct 10;215(1):47-56. Epub 2016 Oct 3. A human in vitro model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy muscle formation and contractility. Nesmith AP, Wagner MA, Pasqualini FS, O’Connor BB, Pincus MJ, August PR, Parker KK.

Written by Pierre Gaudriault

Written by Pierre Gaudriault

Innovation Unit | Intrapreneur

Pierre is incubated in our Entrepreneurship school. LEARN MORE.


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