October 2019 Research Highlight

Congratulations to the team at the University of Pittsburg for their new MTEC award, entitled “Enhanced Biologic Scaffold for Volumetric Muscle Loss”

The University of Pittsburg (led by Dr. Stephen Badylak) has recently received an MTEC award to treat volumetric muscle loss (VML). Surgical mesh materials composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) can promote functional tissue remodeling by mechanisms that include stem cell maturation and differentiation and modulation of the host immune response toward a regulatory, pro-healing phenotype. From 2011 to 2015, the team conducted a thirteen-patient human cohort study in which ECM surgical meshes (including XenMatrix™) were used to treat VML. Results showed significant restoration of vascularized, innervated, and functional skeletal muscle with a marked improvement in the quality of life for all patients. In this MTEC-funded project, the team will: 1) Determine efficacy of an antibiotic-coated ECM surgical mesh (XenMatrix™ AB) for the promotion of muscle regeneration in human patients, and 2) Evaluate alternative antibiotic coatings in preclinical rodent models.

Figure. A bioscaffold/surgical mesh composed of porcine dermal ECM (XenMatrix™) was implanted at a site of volumetric muscle loss and can be visualized by MRI. The dark area in the left image represents the appearance of the mesh one month after surgery. The image on the right shows the MRI signal to be almost indistinguishable from adjacent normal muscle.