Biocompatibility and remodeling potential of pure arterial elastin and collagen scaffolds
Surgical therapy of cardiovascular disorders frequently requires replacement of diseased tissues with prosthetic devices or grafts. In typical tissue engineering approaches, scaffolds are utilized to serve as templates to support cell growth and remodeling. Decellularized vascular matrices have been previously investigated as scaffolds for tissue engineering. However, cell migration into these scaffolds was inadequate due to the very tight matrix organization specific to the aortic structure. To address this problem, we prepared two types of decellularized scaffolds from porcine vascular tissues. Pure elastin scaffolds and pure collagen scaffolds were prepared by selectively removing the collagen component or elastin, respectively. In the current study, we use a subdermal implantation model to demonstrate that arterial elastin and collagen scaffolds exhibit enhanced potential for repopulation by host cells in vivo. Notably, numerous new collagen fibers and bundles were found within the remodeled elastin scaffolds and new elastin fibers within collagen scaffolds, respectively, clearly indicating their ability to support de novo extracellular matrix synthesis. We also show that biological cues such as growth factors are required for efficient repopulation of elastin and collagen scaffolds. Finally, we bring evidence that these scaffolds can be endothelialized in vitro for thrombosis resistance and thus can serve as promising candidates for cardiovascular tissue engineering.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 27, Issue 5, February 2006, Pages 702–713