International journal of molecular sciences

Decellularized Human Skeletal Muscle as Biologic Scaffold for Reconstructive Surgery.

PMID 26140375


Engineered skeletal muscle tissues have been proposed as potential solutions for volumetric muscle losses, and biologic scaffolds have been obtained by decellularization of animal skeletal muscles. The aim of the present work was to analyse the characteristics of a biologic scaffold obtained by decellularization of human skeletal muscles (also through comparison with rats and rabbits) and to evaluate its integration capability in a rabbit model with an abdominal wall defect. Rat, rabbit and human muscle samples were alternatively decellularized with two protocols: n.1, involving sodium deoxycholate and DNase I; n.2, trypsin-EDTA and Triton X-NH4OH. Protocol 2 proved more effective, removing all cellular material and maintaining the three-dimensional networks of collagen and elastic fibers. Ultrastructural analyses with transmission and scanning electron microscopy confirmed the preservation of collagen, elastic fibres, glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. Implantation of human scaffolds in rabbits gave good results in terms of integration, although recellularization by muscle cells was not completely achieved. In conclusion, human skeletal muscles may be effectively decellularized to obtain scaffolds preserving the architecture of the extracellular matrix and showing mechanical properties suitable for implantation/integration. Further analyses will be necessary to verify the suitability of these scaffolds for in vitro recolonization by autologous cells before in vivo implantation.