Human Muscle Bank

In 2011, the Center for Muscle Biology received IRB approval for establishing a Normal Muscle Tissue Bank to be used as control tissue for research studies.  In addition to obtaining 200-300 mg of tissue from the vastus lateralis muscle of the thigh, volunteers undergo body composition evaluation, a fasting blood draw, strength testing, and complete various surveys on activity level and quality of life, coordinated between the Human Performance Lab and Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.  The bank currently contains over 100 samples from both males and females ranging in age from 18-82 years old.  This unique resource is not available anywhere else in the country.

Human Vastus Lateralis Tissue

The Center for Muscle Biology possesses snap-frozen tissue and histological mounts donated by over 100 subjects.  Additional medical history, exercise physiology, and metabolic data are available for some donors.  Frozen sections from muscle biopsies are cut at 7μm, in triplicate with a maximum of 4 subjects per slide.  Sections are mounted on Superfrost Plus charged slides (Fisher, 12-550-15). Immunohistochemistry, histology, and imaging of common muscle characteristics are also available upon request.  Please see the Rates page for more details.

Human Primary Myoblast Cells

The Center for Muscle Biology also maintains a repository of human primary myoblasts isolated from over 200 individual donors.  Upon request, detailed medical history, exercise physiology, and metabolic data are available for some donors.  Cells were isolated using collagenase/dispase digest followed by magnetic bead sorting for CD56/NCAM+ cells.  Please see Varma et al. for detailed methods of human primary myoblast isolation1

A vial costs $300 for internal University of Kentucky researchers and $391 for external academic researchers (1 vial= approximately 250,000 cells). Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of primary myoblasts.  To make a request, please fill out the Service Request Form.  If you have a special request, please contact us at

1. Varma V, Yao-Borengasser A, Rasouli N, Nolen GT, Phanavanh B, Starks T, Gurley C, Simpson P, McGehee RE, Jr., Kern PA, and Peterson CA. Muscle inflammatory response and insulin resistance: synergistic interaction between macrophages and fatty acids leads to impaired insulin action. American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism. 296: E1300-1310, 2009.