, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 87-95
Date: 03 Nov 2012

Detergent enzymatic treatment for the development of a natural acellular matrix for oesophageal regeneration

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Tissue engineering of the oesophagus has been proposed as a therapeutic alternative to organ transplantation. We previously demonstrated that a detergent enzymatic treatment (DET) is a valid method to obtain an acellular matrix with preservation of the native architecture. In this study, we aimed to develop a natural acellular matrix from pig oesophagus, as a valid framework for oesophageal replacement.


Pig oesophagi (n = 4) were decellularized with continuous luminal infusion of DET. To evaluate the efficiency of the decellularization, samples were assessed by histology and DNA quantification. Moreover, the ultra-structural characteristics of the acellular matrix were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).


Decellularization of the oesophagus was achieved after three cycles of DET. Histological analysis showed the maintenance of tissue matrix architecture with absence of cellular elements, verified by measurement of DNA. SEM and TEM analysis confirmed preservation of the ultra-structural characteristics of the native tissue.


Oesophageal acellular matrix can be successfully obtained by decellularization of pig oesophagus using a gentle DET via the oesophageal lumen. This decellularization method preserves the ultrastructure of the native tissue and could represent the basis for a tissue-engineered oesophagus.