Decellularization of bovine corneas for tissue engineering applications
Scaffolds derived from processed tissues offer viable alternatives to synthetic polymers as biological scaffolds for regenerative medicine. Tissue-derived scaffolds provide an extracellular matrix (ECM) as the starting material for wound healing and the functional reconstruction of tissues, offering a potentially valuable approach for the replacement of damaged or missing tissues. Additionally, acellular tissue may provide a natural microenvironment for host-cell migration and the induction of stem cell differentiation to contribute to tissue regeneration. There are a number of processing methods that aim to stabilize and provide an immunologically inert tissue scaffold. Furthermore, these tissue-processing methods can often be applied to xenogenic transplants because the essential components of the ECM are often maintained between species. In this study, we applied several tissue-processing protocols to the cornea in order to obtain a decellularized cornea matrix that maintained the clarity and mechanical properties of the native tissue. Histology, mechanical testing and electron microscopy techniques were used to assess the cell extraction process and the organization of the remaining ECM. In vitro cell seeding experiments confirmed the processed corneas’ biocompatibility.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 5, Issue 6, July 2009, Pages 1839–1847