Rutgers Engineers Build Strong Muscles

Skeletal muscle makes up about 40% of all the muscle in the body and controls movement due to contraction. Traumatic injuries such as military combat and car accidents can cause damage to the skeletal muscle resulting in significant volumetric loss that the body cannot repair.

Kristin Fischer, a post-doctoral associate in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Rutgers University, conducts skeletal muscle research in the school’s Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration (MoTR) laboratory under Associate Professor Joseph Freeman.  

“My research is focused on creating a scaffold to be a support system for skeletal muscle cells as they grow back to replace the damaged tissue,” explains Fischer.  

In addition, Fischer has focused on making a scaffold that moves when electrically stimulated. “The idea is to give the patient some mobility as the large volume of skeletal muscle grows back.”

Fischer has had had success in creating a biocompatible scaffold that actuates when electrically stimulated. As the project moves forward, Fischer and other lab members are now investigating additional scaffold components and refining the architecture to improve performance.

Fischer earned a bachelor’s of science in biology, master of science in biomedical engineering, and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Virginia Tech.