Dermis Mechanical Behavior in Relation to Decellularization Treatment Length.

elisabetta zanetti
elisabetta zanetti
Università degli Studi di Perugia
Assistant Professor
biomechanics, biomaterials
Perugia, Umbria | Italy

Open Biomed Eng J 2016 8;10:34-42. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Background: The dermis is a commonly used source tissue for biologic scaffolds; all cellular and nuclear materials need to be removed to limit the inflammatory immune response by the host organism. The decellularization is critical because it must preserve the structural integrity of the extracellular matrix. This work has analyzed a decellularization procedure commonly followed for the dermal tissue that is a chemical treatment with sodium hydroxide. The goal of this work is to identify the optimal treatment length on the basis of structural properties.

Methods: Tensile tests have been performed on the native tissue and on tissues decellularized for 1-7 weeks in sodium hydroxide. The collected data have been analyzed through Tukey-Kramer test to assess if the mechanical properties (ultimate tensile stress and elastic modulus) of decellularized tissues were significantly different from the properties of the native tissue. These tests have been performed on specimens cut along two orthogonal directions (parallel and perpendicular to Langer's lines).

Results: The decellularization treatment performed with sodium hydroxide in general weakens the tissue: both the ultimate stress and the elastic modulus get lower. The structural properties along Langer lines orientation are more strongly impacted, while the structural properties orthogonal to Langer lines can be preserved with an optimal duration of the decellularization treatment that is 5-6 weeks.

Conclusion: The duration of the decellularization treatment is critical not only to reach a complete decellularization, but also to preserve the mechanical properties of the tissue; 5-6 week treatment performed with sodium hydroxide allows preserving the mechanical properties of the native tissue perpendicularly to Langer lines orientation, and minimizing the impact of the decellularization process on the mechanical properties along the Langer lines orientation.

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