Biocompatibility, biodegradability, mechanical properties, scaffold architecture and manufacturing technology are key considerations for tissue engineering scaffold design. For skeletal muscle tissue engineering, scaffolds which promote the uniaxial alignment of cells are beneficial in order to replicate the natural structure of muscle tissue.

Silk fibroin (SF) is a suitable scaffold material for its biocompatibility and controllable biodegradation rate. The aim of this work is to generate SF scaffolds which promote self-alignment, proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts using a simple, cost-effective and scalable approach.

Moulds, with aligned channels between 60 and 200 µm wide, were printed with a 3D printer and used to generate SF films. SF film morphology was assessed by SEM and digital microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy and resazurin assays were used to investigate C2C12 myocyte growth on the film scaffolds.

SEM and digital microscopy images showed the SF aligned films were successfully generated with groove widths as designed. Approximately 57% of C2C12 cells adhered to the films after 4 hours incubation and fluorescence microscopy images validated that the cells aligned within the grooves on the films. Resazurin assays demonstrated that the patterned films supported C2C12 cell proliferation, which, after an initial lag phase, was comparable to growth on tissue culture plastic.

This study investigated a simple and low-cost method to generate scaffolds that can support cell alignment and scale up. Results of this study validated that C2C12 myocytes grew and aligned on this SF scaffold, and future work will include assessment of myoblast differentiation and the influence of channel diameter.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022
EventTissue and Cell Engineering Society Conference 2022 - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jun 202215 Jun 2022


ConferenceTissue and Cell Engineering Society Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleTCES 2022
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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