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Biomaterials. 2004 Oct;25(22):5227-37.

Novel porous aortic elastin and collagen scaffolds for tissue engineering.

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Department of Bioengineering, 501-1 Rhodes Research Center, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


Decellularized vascular matrices are used as scaffolds in cardiovascular tissue engineering because they retain their natural biological composition and three-dimensional (3-D) architecture suitable for cell adhesion and proliferation. However, cell infiltration and subsequent repopulation of these scaffolds was shown to be unsatisfactory due to their dense collagen and elastic fiber networks. In an attempt to create more porous structures for cell repopulation, we selectively removed matrix components from decellularized porcine aorta to obtain two types of scaffolds, namely elastin and collagen scaffolds. Histology and scanning electron microscopy examination of the two scaffolds revealed a well-oriented porous decellularized structure that maintained natural architecture of the aorta. Quantitative DNA analysis confirmed that both scaffolds were completely decellularized. Stress-strain analysis demonstrated adequate mechanical properties for both elastin and collagen scaffolds. In vitro enzyme digestion of the scaffolds suggested that they were highly biodegradable. Furthermore, the biodegradability of collagen scaffolds could be controlled by crosslinking with carbodiimides. Cell culture studies showed that fibroblasts adhered to and proliferated on the scaffold surfaces with excellent cell viability. Fibroblasts infiltrated about 120 microm into elastin scaffolds and about 40 microm into collagen scaffolds after 4 weeks of rotary cell culture. These results indicated that our novel aortic elastin and collagen matrices have the potential to serve as scaffolds for cardiovascular tissue engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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