Optimizing the Treatment Method of Arterial Tissue to be Used as Acellular Scaffolds for Vascular Reconstruction
Arterial reconstruction is a necessary treatment for damaged arterial tissue, and research is still being done to find the most biocompatible substitute that is successfully able to mimic the structural, chemical, and mechanical characteristics of a native blood vessel. Scaffolds made from the decellularized arterial tissue of a donor are a promising method as the scaffold is comprised of the native extracellular matrix proteins of an arterial vessel (Figure 1). These scaffolds then recruit native cells from surround tissue. However when implanted, this leaves the collagen-containing basal lamina as the blood contacting surface of the graft. The collagen activates white blood cells in the host and causes cell adhesion and clotting. Instead, research has proposed using the internal arterial elastic laminae of the media as the blood contacting surface as they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombogenic properties. This requires tissue treatment to not only decellularize the tissue, but remove the luminal basal lamina to expose the elastic laminae in the media of the vessel. In this study, we used excised rat aortic tissue and attempted to optimize their treatment with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to expose the elastic laminae for the blood contacting surface but also retain enough collagen in the adventitia of the vessel that the scaffold remains structurally sound.