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J Surg Res. 2010 Nov;164(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.07.017. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

Development of an acellular bioengineered matrix with a dominant vascular pedicle.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065, USA.



This study assessed the feasibility of creating a tissue engineering platform by decellularization of fasciocutaneous tissue.


A fasciocutaneous flap based upon the superficial inferior epigastric artery was harvested from the abdominal wall of 8-wk-old male Sprague-Dawley rats. All cellular components were removed by sequential treatment with sodium azide, DNAse, and sodium deoxycholate. The degree of decellularization was qualitatively assessed by histology and quantitatively assessed by spectrophotometry. Persistence of relevant extracellular matrix proteins was shown following staining with orcein and hematoxylin. The duration of circuit patency was determined by continuous perfusion with a peristaltic perfusion pump.


Gross and histologic examination demonstrated removal of cellular constituents with preservation of tissue matrix architecture, including macrochannels and microchannels. This was confirmed by the application of spectrophotometry to DNA isolates, which showed that the decellularized flap retained 4.04 ng/μL DNA, compared with the non-processed control, which retained 37.03 ng/μL DNA, and the acellular control, which was read as having 0.65 ng/μL DNA. The extracellular matrix of vessel walls was shown to remain intact. Peristaltic perfusion of the cannulated pedicle inflow channel with phosphate buffered saline at a rate of 200 μL/min confirmed circuit patency for 6 h.


Fasciocutaneous flaps harvested with an intact vascular pedicle and associated tissue vascular network can be successfully decellularized and perfused ex vivo. This methodology, which is scalable to human size tissues, provides promise as a technique for the production of customizable engineered tissues.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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