Small caliber vessels substitutes still remain an unmet clinical need; few autologous substitutes are available, while synthetic grafts show insufficient patency in the long term. Decellularization is the complete removal of all cellular and nuclear matters from a tissue while leaving a preserved extracellular matrix representing a promising tool for the generation of acellular scaffolds for tissue engineering, already used for various tissues with positive outcomes. The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of a detergent-enzymatic decellularization protocol on swine arteries in terms of cell removal, extracellular matrix preservation, and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the effect of storage at -80°C on the mechanical properties of the tissue is evaluated. Swine arteries were harvested, frozen, and decellularized; histological analysis revealed complete cell removal and preserved extracellular matrix. Furthermore, the residual DNA content in decellularized tissues was far low compared to native one. Mechanical testings were performed on native, defrozen, and decellularized tissues; no statistically significant differences were reported for Young's modulus, ultimate stress, compliance, burst pressure, and suture retention strength, while ultimate strain and stress relaxation of decellularized vessels were significantly different from the native ones. Considering the overall results, the process was confirmed to be suitable for the generation of acellular scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)