Bio-medical materials and engineering

Histological and biomechanical characterization of decellularized porcine pericardium as a potential scaffold for tissue engineering applications.

PMID 28854488


Each year, more than 800,000 vascular and cardiac surgeries are performed therefore, there is a great need for suitable material for bioprosthetic operations. Porcine pericardium is a double-walled sac that covers the heart and can be used in vascular and cardiac thoracic surgery. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the decellularization process and biomechanical properties in porcine pericardial tissue after the decellularization treatment. A detergent based protocol was used for the decellularization of porcine pericardium. Histological analysis and contact cytotoxicity assay were performed. Additionally, biomechanical testing and in vivo biocompatibility by implantation into Wistar Rats were performed. The histological analysis showed the preservation of the extracellular matrix, without any observable cellular remnants. No toxic effects were noticed when contact cytotoxicity assay performed. The decellularized tissues, after implantation in Wistar Rats, remained for up to 12 weeks without being rejected. Finally, the biomechanical testing showed no significant differences between native and decellularized tissues. In this study, the decellularization of the porcine pericardium produced a non toxic scaffold, free of any cellular remnants, thus serving as an alternative material for tissue engineering applications including heart valve and vascular patch development.