Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics Research Group

Comunications - Poster

Decellularization methods for isolation of the extracellular matrix: the first step for obtaining patient specific bioinks


Bioprinting is a promising technology with various applications in tissue engineering. Bioinks are a crucial part of the bioprinting process as they are used to deliver cells and create specific constructs with the desired shape, structure and architecture. The development of patient specific bioninks with the ability of delivering more than one growth factor and preventing an immunological response shows great potential [1].  The use of decellularized ECM in the development of patient specific bioinks might be the next step in the pursuit of a better and more efficient personalized medicine.Decellularization is a process used to lyse cells and remove the cellular material, preserving the extracellular matrix (ECM) in both its structure and components. The ECM is composed by functional and structural proteins, proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. These substances are secreted by each organs’ cells, meaning that the ECM will contain organ-specific proteins and growth factors, providing an ideal environment for cell growth. In this sense, the development of scaffolds composed of decellularized ECM (dECM) have gained increasing interest [2].The efficient removal of the majority of the cellular material is very important as it prevents an immune response. Even so, that process should be made without compromising the ultrastructure and content of the ECM, which constitutes the major challenge in decellularization. In this context, there are a wide range of methods used to obtain dECM, depending on the type and size of tissue [3].Detergents, like sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium deoxycholate (SDC) and/or Triton X-100, have been used in combination to disrupt more efficiently the cell membrane in most tissues. Furthermore, the continuous agitation of the solution where the tissue is submersed and temperature used, can also facilitate the process. Additionally, the efficient removal of DNA can be performed enzymatically, using Dnase I, or mechanically, using an ultra sound water bath, or even, taking advantage of the freeze-thaw process. The efficiency of the decellularization process can be validated using DNA quantification (<50 ng dsDNA per mg ECM dry weight) and H&E staining for nucleus observation (lack of visible nuclear material).

Decellularization, Decellularized extracellular matrix, matrices, Tissue engineering
Open Access
Peer Reviewed
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