New work from the Niklas Bergh and Per Fogelstrand labs (University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital) evaluated how decellularized blood vessels from tissue engineering can be a practical alternative to synthetic or autologous grafts that are commonly used in vascular surgery. They utilized CHPs to systematically compare collagen damage caused by decellularization of 5 different protocols using the following detergents: sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium deoxycholate (SDC), CHAPS and TritonX-100 together with DNA-removing enzymes on porcine vena cava.

Abstract: Decellularization of native blood vessels is a promising technology to generate 3D biological scaffolds for vascular grafting. Blood vessel decellularization has been performed in previous studies under various experimental conditions, that complicates comparison and optimization of suitable protocols. The goal of this work was to systematically compare the decellularization and recellularization efficacy of 5 different protocols utilizing the detergents sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium deoxycholate (SDC), CHAPS and TritonX-100 together with DNA-removing enzymes on porcine vena cava in a perfusion bioreactor setup. Additionally, we tested the effect of DNase on the extracellular matrix (ECM) properties. We found that all protocols could efficiently decellularize blood vessels. Mechanical strength, collagen preservation and ECM integrity were similar among all tested detergents, yet TritonX protocols required long-term DNase application for complete decellularization. However, TritonX-based protocols showed the greatest recellularization efficacy with HUVECs in vitro. Furthermore, we developed a novel protocol for TritonX which improved recellularization and reduced total process time and ECM stiffness compared to previous protocols. SDS, SDC and CHAPS based protocols had a lower recellularization potential. In conclusion, decellularization of blood vessels can be achieved with all tested reagents, but TritonX treated ECM can be most efficiently recellularized with endothelial cells.

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