Skeletal muscle tissue comprises up to 40% of the human body and serves crucial functions in mobility, respiration, and metabolism. It has been difficult to model human skeletal muscle in vitro due to the difficulty in culturing and expanding primary human myoblasts.

Recent advances in stem cell biology have resulted in improved protocols in particular for iPSC-derived skeletal muscle cells. The field is now moving into the generation of improved 3D model systems for skeletal muscle. This is relevant for a better understanding of molecular mechanisms in health and disease, but also for the development of novel treatment options for skeletal muscle disorders.

The purpose is to provide a platform for skeletal muscle on a chip that serves to promote interaction, distribution of knowledge, and provide opportunities for collaboration. Considering that very few therapies for muscle disorders exist, this platform is expected to accelerate the development of new treatment options.

Program coordinators

Dr. Pim Pijnappel
Erasmus MC

Dr. Jessica de Greef,

Upcoming meeting

  • 26 April 2022
  • 25 Oktober 2022

Previous meetings

  • 26 October 2021, Online (13-16h)
  • 26 May 2021, Online (10-13h)
  • 23 September 2020, Online
  • 26 May 2020, Wageningen (host Wageningen University & Research) – Cancelled
  • 27 November 2019, Rotterdam (host Erasmus MC)

Research Challenges

  • To reproduce an entire muscle with all its facets, to generate different types of muscle, to mimic human disease in vitro, to integrate muscle on a chip with other tissues on a chip.
  • To reproduce human muscle disease in vitro to study disease mechanisms, to develop therapies, and to test the patient-specific response to therapy.
  • To develop technology for sensitive and robust read out of muscle performance in health and disease.

Collaboration with other theme groups:

  • With Heart-on-chip: similar technology and approach although cardiac and skeletal muscle differ.
  • With Vessel-on-chip: for generation of vessels within muscle.
  • With Brain-on-chip: for generation of neuromuscular junctions.