A contactless electrical stimulator: Application to fabricate functional skeletal muscle tissue

Samad Ahadian, Javier Ramón-Azcón, Serge Ostrovidov, Gulden Camci-Unal, Hirokazu Kaji, Kosuke Ino, Hitoshi Shiku, Ali Khademhosseini, Tomokazu Matsue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Engineered skeletal muscle tissues are ideal candidates for applications in drug screening systems, bio-actuators, and as implantable constructs in tissue engineering. Electrical field stimulation considerably improves the differentiation of muscle cells to muscle myofibers. Currently used electrical stimulators often use direct contact of electrodes with tissue constructs or their culture medium, which may cause hydrolysis of the culture medium, joule heating of the medium, contamination of the culture medium due to products of electrodes corrosion, and surface fouling of electrodes. Here, we used an interdigitated array of electrodes combined with an isolator coverslip as a contactless platform to electrically stimulate engineered muscle tissue, which eliminates the aforementioned problems. The effective stimulation of muscle myofibers using this device was demonstrated in terms of contractile activity and higher maturation as compared to muscle tissues without applying the electrical field. Due to the wide array of potential applications of electrical stimulation to two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) cell and tissue constructs, this device could be of great interest for a variety of biological applications as a tool to create noninvasive, safe, and highly reproducible electric fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb


  • C2C12 myoblasts
  • Contactless electrical stimulation
  • Gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel
  • Skeletal muscle tissue engineering


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