Muscles execute all movements and are the main drivers of animal behaviour. While muscle development, physiology and regeneration are well understood, the recreation of muscle from its constituent cellular and extracellular components is still in its infancy. We propose a project which will explore new ways to model muscle function with constructs assembled from pluripotent stem cell-derived muscle cells and artificial scaffolds. To control contractions, we will emulate synaptic input with optogenetic. The aim of the project is to develop 3D-muscle constructs and then apply the technology to study muscle degeneration and explore bioengineered muscle as bio-actuators in soft robots.
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