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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:6526-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5333145.

Whole organ decellularization - a tool for bioscaffold fabrication and organ bioengineering.

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Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


The use of synthetic and naturally-derived scaffolds for bioengineering of solid organs has been limited due to a lack of an integrated vascular network. Here, we describe fabrication of a bioscaffold system with intact vascular tree. Animal-donor organs and tissues, ranging in size up-to thirty centimeters, were perfused with decellularization solution to selectively remove the cellular component of the tissue and leave an intact extracellular matrix and vascular network. The vascular tree demonstrated sequential fluid flow through a central inlet vessel that branched into an extensive capillary bed and coalesced back into a single outlet vessel. In one example, the liver, we used central inlet vessels to perfuse human and animal liver cells through the bioscaffold to create a functional liver tissue construct in vitro. These results demonstrate a novel yet simple and scalable method to obtain whole organ vascularized bioscaffolds with potential for liver, kidney, pancreas, intestine and other organs' bioengineering. These bioscaffolds can further provide a tool to study cells in their natural three-dimensional environment, which is superior for drug discovery platform compared with cells cultured in two-dimensional petri dishes.

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