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Effect of fluid dynamics on decellularization efficacy and mechanical properties of blood vessels

Journal article
Authors Robin Simsa
X. M. Vila
E. Salzer
A. Teuschl
L. Jenndahl
Niklas Bergh
Per Fogelstrand
Published in PLoS ONE
Volume 14
Issue 8
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2019
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Keywords extracellular-matrix, vascular graft, arterial-wall, tissue, scaffold, endothelialization, fibronectin, stiffness, impact, cells
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology


Decellularization of blood vessels is a promising approach to generate native biomaterials for replacement of diseased vessels. The decellularization process affects the mechanical properties of the vascular graft and thus can have a negative impact for in vivo functionality. The aim of this study was to determine how detergents under different fluid dynamics affects decellularization efficacy and mechanical properties of the vascular graft. We applied a protocol utilizing 1% TritonX, 1% Tributyl phosphate (TnBP) and DNase on porcine vena cava. The detergents were applied to the vessels under different conditions; static, agitation and perfusion with 3 different perfusion rates (25, 100 and 400 mL/min). The decellularized grafts were analyzed with histological, immunohistochemical and mechanical tests. We found that decellularization efficacy was equal in all groups, however the luminal ultrastructure of the static group showed remnant cell debris and the 400 mL/min perfusion group showed local damage and tearing of the luminal surface. The mechanical stiffness and maximum tensile strength were not influenced by the detergent application method. In conclusion, our results indicate that agitation or low-velocity perfusion with detergents are preferable methods for blood vessel decellularization.

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