Regenerative biomaterials

Biocompatibility and degradation of tendon-derived scaffolds.

PMID 26816651


Decellularized extracellular matrix has often been used as a biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. Its function, once implanted can be crucial to determining whether a tissue engineered construct will be successful, both in terms of how the material breaks down, and how the body reacts to the material's presence in the first place. Collagen is one of the primary components of extracellular matrix and has been used for a number of biomedical applications. Scaffolds comprised of highly aligned collagen fibrils can be fabricated directly from decellularized tendon using a slicing, stacking, and rolling technique, to create two- and three-dimensional constructs. Here, the degradation characteristics of the material are evaluated in vitro, showing that chemical crosslinking can reduce degradation while maintaining fiber structure. In vivo, non-crosslinked and crosslinked samples are implanted, and their biological response and degradation evaluated through histological sectioning, trichrome staining, and immunohistochemical staining for macrophages. Non-crosslinked samples are rapidly degraded and lose fiber morphology while crosslinked samples retain both macroscopic structure as well as fiber orientation. The cellular response of both materials is also investigated. The in vivo response demonstrates that the decellularized tendon material is biocompatible, biodegradable and can be crosslinked to maintain surface features for extended periods of time in vivo. This study provides material characteristics for the use of decellularized tendon as biomaterial for tissue engineering.