In this open access paper, researchers explore the utility of decellularized muscle grafts to repair severe injury. Decellularization is the process by which a donor tissue is cleared of cells, leaving behind the extracellular matrix. This intricate structure includes capillary networks and chemical cues to guide cells, line items that the research community has yet to reliably recreate when building tissue from scratch. Over the past decade, researchers have demonstrated the ability to repopulate decellularized tissue with patient-derived cells, a capacity that in principle allows for the production of patient-matched donor organs. This is an important stepping stone on the path towards fully tissue engineered organs grown from a cell sample, and offers the potential for incremental improvement over the present situation for organ donation and transplantation. It can expand the donor pool to include tissues that would be rejected, allow the possibility of transplantation across species, and greatly improve patient prognosis by near eliminating transplant rejection issues.
Injuries to the extremities affect soft and hard tissues and can result in permanent loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed volumetric muscle loss (VML). Treatments for VML include muscle transfers or stem cell injections, but they are not
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