Skeletal muscle tissue engineering represents an attractive approach to overcome problems associated with autologous transfer of muscle tissue and provides a valid alternative in muscle regeneration enhancement. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability, as scaffold for skeletal muscle tissue engineering, of a known biodegradable block copolymer (DegraPol (R)) processed by electrospinning in the novel form of microfibrous membranes. Scaffolds were characterized with reference to their morphological, degradative and mechanical properties. Subsequently, cell viability, adhesion and differentiation on coated and uncoated DegraPol (R) slides were investigated using line cells (C2C12 and L6) and primary human satellite cells (HSCs). The membranes exhibited absence of toxic residuals and satisfactory mechanical properties (linear elastic behavior up to 10% deformation, E modulus in the order of magnitude of MPa). A promising cellular response was also found in preliminary experiments: both line cells and HSCs adhered, proliferated and fused on differently coated electrospun membranes. Positive staining for myosin heavy chain expression indicated that differentiation of C2C12 multinucleated cells occurred within the porous elastomeric substrate. Together the results of this study provide significant evidence of the suitability of electrospun DegraPol (R) membranes as scaffolds for skeletal muscle tissue engineering and that they represent a promising alternative to scaffolds currently used in this field. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.