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Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 Oct;18(19-20):2125-37. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0586. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Thick acellular heart extracellular matrix with inherent vasculature: a potential platform for myocardial tissue regeneration.

Author information

1
The Laboratory of Cancer Drug Delivery and Mammalian Cell Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

The decellularization of porcine heart tissue offers many opportunities for the production of physiologically relevant myocardial mimetic scaffolds. Earlier, we reported the successful isolation of a thin porcine cardiac extracellular matrix (pcECM) exhibiting relevant bio-mechanical properties for myocardial tissue engineering. Nevertheless, since native cardiac tissue is much thicker, such thin scaffolds may offer limited regeneration capacity. However, generation of thicker myocardial mimetic tissue constructs is hindered by diffusion limitations (~100 μm), and the lack of a proper vascular-like network within these constructs. In our present work, we focused on optimizing the decellularization procedure for thicker tissue slabs (10-15 mm), while retaining their inherent vasculature, and on characterizing the resulting pcECM. The trypsin/Triton-based perfusion procedure that resulted in a nonimmunogenic and cell-supportive pcECM was found to be more effective in cell removal and in the preservation of fiber morphology and structural characteristics than stirring, sonication, or sodium dodecyl sulfate/Triton-based procedures. Mass spectroscopy revealed that the pcECM is mainly composed of ECM proteins with no apparent cellular protein remains. Mechanical testing indicated that the obtained pcECM is viscoelastic in nature and possesses the typical stress-strain profile of biological materials. It is stiffer than native tissue yet exhibits matched mechanical properties in terms of energy dissipation, toughness, and ultimate stress behavior. Vascular network functionality was maintained to the first three-four branches from the main coronary vessels. Taken together, these results reaffirm the efficiency of the decellularization procedure reported herein for yielding thick nonimmunogenic cell-supportive pcECM scaffolds, preserving both native tissue ultra-structural properties and an inherent vascular network. When reseeded with the appropriate progenitor cells, these scaffolds can potentially serve as ex vivo screening platforms for new therapeutics, as models for human cardiac ECM, or as biomedical constructs for patch or transmural transplantation strategies.

PMID:
22663095
PMCID:
PMC3463286
DOI:
10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0586
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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