Micropatterned substrates with physiological stiffness promote cell maturation and Pompe disease phenotype in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived skeletal myocytes

Recent advances in bioengineering have enabled cell culture systems that more closely mimic the native cellular environment. Here we demonstrated that human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived myogenic progenitors formed highly-aligned myotubes and contracted when seeded on two-dimensional micropatterned platforms. The differentiated cells showed clear nuclear alignment and formed elongated myotubes dependent on the width of the micropatterned lanes. Topographical cues from micropatterning and physiological substrate stiffness improved the formation of well-aligned and multi-nucleated myotubes similar to myofibers. These aligned myotubes exhibited spontaneous contractions specifically along the long axis of the pattern. Notably, the micropatterned platforms developed bundle-like myotubes using patient-derived iPSCs with a background of Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type II), and even enhanced the disease phenotype as shown through the specific pathology of abnormal lysosome accumulations. A highly-aligned formation of matured myotubes holds great potential in further understanding the process of human muscle development, as well as advancing in vitro pharmacological studies for skeletal muscle diseases.
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