Stabilized collagen scaffolds for heart valve tissue engineering.
Scaffolds for heart valve tissue engineering must function immediately after implantation but also need to tolerate cell infiltration and gradual remodeling. We hypothesized that moderately cross-linked collagen scaffolds would fulfill these requirements. To test our hypothesis, scaffolds prepared from decellularized porcine pericardium were treated with penta-galloyl glucose (PGG), a collagen-binding polyphenol, and tested for biodegradation, biaxial mechanical properties, and in vivo biocompatibility. For controls, we used un-cross-linked scaffolds and glutaraldehyde-treated scaffolds. Results confirmed complete pericardium decellularization and the ability of scaffolds to encourage fibroblast chemotaxis and to aid in creation of anatomically correct valve-shaped constructs. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking fully stabilized collagen but did not allow for tissue remodeling and calcified when implanted subdermally in rats. PGG-treated collagen was initially resistant to collagenase and then degraded gradually, indicating partial stabilization. Moreover, PGG-treated pericardium exhibited excellent biaxial mechanical properties, did not calcify in vivo, and supported infiltration by host fibroblasts and subsequent matrix remodeling. In conclusion, PGG-treated acellular pericardium is a promising scaffold for heart valve tissue engineering.
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