Impact of sterilization on the porous design and cell behavior in collagen sponges prepared for tissue engineering
This study investigates the impact of different sterilization processes on structural integrity and stability of collagen sponges designed for tissue engineering. Collagen sponges with uniform pore size (20 μm) were sterilized either with ethylene oxide (EO) or gamma irradiation (2.5 Mrad). Gamma-sterilized sponges showed a dramatic decrease of resistance against enzyme degradation and severe shrinkage after cell seeding. Collapsed porosity inhibited fibroblasts and barred completely the human umbilical vein endothelial cell ingrowth into the sponges. On the contrary, the porous structure and stability of EO-sterilized sponges remained almost unaltered. Fibroblasts and endothelial cells exhibited favorable proliferation and migration within sponges with normal morphology. Tubular formation by seeded endothelial cells occurred early in the first week. Therefore, we emphasize that the impact of sterilization of biomaterials is substantial and any new procedure has to be evaluated by correlating the impact of the procedure on the porous structure with cell proliferation behavior.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 23, Issue 14, July 2002, Pages 2855–2861