TriBioNics undertakes for the first time the combination of three cutting edge technologies, 3D skeletal muscle bioprinting, graphene bioelectronics, and triboelectricity, with the goal of modelling muscle tissue conditions and developing novel physiological therapies for muscle rehabilitation, among others.
Skeletal muscle tissue plays a crucial role in body posture and movement, impairing people’s quality of life after its damage and ageing. Tissue-engineered skeletal muscle models have led to the possibility of better understanding the biological pathways associated with different muscle conditions and search for new therapies. Maturation of muscle tissue in vitro is achieved by electrical stimulation, usually triggered by bulky electrodes acting on the media that surrounds the tissue, resulting in lack of proper control and reproducibility. The TriBioNics project will integrate flexible graphene-based microelectrodes with tissue-engineered skeletal muscle, allowing for a focal effect leading to more reliable models and controllable tissue responses. The establishment of stimulation protocols will facilitate the recreation of diverse biological processes, such as self-healing and muscle conditions, which can be useful for the future evaluation of treatment efficiency.
The project is led by ICN2 Associate Researcher Elena del Corro García, and ICREA Research Professor at IBEC, Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez. Together, the expertise and knowledge from the IBEC and ICN2 members covers a wide spectrum, including bioengineering, materials science, energy, and nanotechnology, all of which are essential for the successful implementation of the project.