Current use of prosthetic meshes and implants for myofascial reconstruction has been associated with infectious complications, long-term failure, and dissatisfying cosmetic results. Our laboratory has developed a small animal model for ventral hernia repair, which uses progenitor cells isolated from a skeletal muscle biopsy. In the model, progenitor cells are expanded in vitro, seeded onto a nonimmunogenic, novel aligned scaffold of bovine collagen and placed into the defect as a living adjuvant to the innate repair mechanism. The purpose of the current investigation is to examine the feasibility of translating our current model to humans. As a necessary first step we present our study on the efficacy of isolating satellite cells from 9 human donor biopsies. We were able to successfully translate our progenitor cell isolation and culture protocols to a human model with some modifications. Specifically, we have isolated human satellite muscle cells, expanded them in culture, and manipulated these cells to differentiate into myotubes in vitro. Immunohistochemical analysis allowed the characterization of distinct progenitor cell cycle stages and quantification of approximate cell number. Furthermore, isolated cells were tracked via cytoplasmic nanocrystal labeling and observed using confocal microscopy.
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