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Biomaterials. 2010 Nov;31(33):8626-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.07.083. Epub 2010 Aug 21.

The effects of processing methods upon mechanical and biologic properties of porcine dermal extracellular matrix scaffolds.

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McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


Biologic materials from various species and tissues are commonly used as surgical meshes or scaffolds for tissue reconstruction. Extracellular matrix (ECM) represents the secreted product of the cells comprising each tissue and organ, and therefore provides a unique biologic material for selected regenerative medicine applications. Minimal disruption of ECM ultrastructure and content during tissue processing is typically desirable. The objective of this study was to systematically evaluate effects of commonly used tissue processing steps upon porcine dermal ECM scaffold composition, mechanical properties, and cytocompatibility. Processing steps evaluated included liming and hot water sanitation, trypsin/SDS/TritonX-100 decellularization, and trypsin/TritonX-100 decellularization. Liming decreased the growth factor and glycosaminoglycan content, the mechanical strength, and the ability of the ECM to support in vitro cell growth (p ≤ 0.05 for all). Hot water sanitation treatment decreased only the growth factor content of the ECM (p ≤ 0.05). Trypsin/SDS/TritonX-100 decellularization decreased the growth factor content and the ability of the ECM to support in vitro cell growth (p ≤ 0.05 for both). Trypsin/Triton X-100 decellularization also decreased the growth factor content of the ECM but increased the ability of the ECM to support in vitro cell growth (p ≤ 0.05 for both). We conclude that processing steps evaluated in the present study affect content, mechanical strength, and/or cytocompatibility of the resultant porcine dermal ECM, and therefore care must be taken in choosing appropriate processing steps to maintain the beneficial effects of ECM in biologic scaffolds.

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