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Musculoskeletal models are experimental systems that recreate aspects of human musculoskeletal development, function or disease. For example, rodents have been used to study musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
This protocol describes steps to design and generate biological machines. Ring-shaped skeletal muscle actuators are cultured and coupled to a 3D-printed skeleton. Contraction of muscle rings can be controlled by optical or electrical stimulation.
This protocol uses dual modulation of Wnt and BMP signaling pathways to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into striated, millimeter-long muscle fibers and satellite-like cells in vitro without the need to introduce genetic material or cell sorting.