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Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2010 Jun;16(3):525-32. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2009.0392.

Preparation of cardiac extracellular matrix from an intact porcine heart.

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Department of Surgery, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Whole organ engineering would benefit from a three-dimensional scaffold produced from intact organ-specific extracellular matrix (ECM). The microenvironment and architecture provided by such a scaffold would likely support site-appropriate cell differentiation and spatial organization. The methods to produce such scaffolds from intact organs require customized decellularization protocols. In the present study, intact adult porcine hearts were successfully decellularized in less than 10 h using pulsatile retrograde aortic perfusion. Serial perfusion of an enzymatic, nonionic detergent, ionic detergent, and acid solution with hypotonic and hypertonic rinses was used to systematically remove cellular content. The resultant cardiac ECM retained collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, and mechanical integrity. Cardiac ECM supported the formation of organized chicken cardiomyocyte sarcomere structure in vitro. The intact decellularized porcine heart provides a tissue engineering template that may be beneficial for future preclinical studies and eventual clinical applications.

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