Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 11, pp 2630–2641 | Cite as

Effect of Intensified Decellularization of Equine Carotid Arteries on Scaffold Biomechanics and Cytotoxicity

  • Ulrike BöerEmail author
  • Luis G. Hurtado-Aguilar
  • Melanie Klingenberg
  • Skadi Lau
  • Stefan Jockenhoevel
  • Axel Haverich
  • Mathias Wilhelmi


Decellularized equine carotid arteries (dEAC) are suggested to represent an alternative for alloplastic vascular grafts in haemodialysis patients to achieve vascular access. Recently it was shown that intensified detergent treatment completely removed cellular components from dEAC and thereby significantly reduced matrix immunogenicity. However, detergents may also affect matrix composition and stability and render scaffolds cytotoxic. Therefore, intensively decellularized carotids (int-dEAC) were now evaluated for their biomechanical characteristics (suture retention strength, burst pressure and circumferential compliance at arterial and venous systolic and diastolic pressure), matrix components (collagen and glycosaminoglycan content) and indirect and direct cytotoxicity (WST-8 assay and endothelial cell seeding) and compared with native (n-EAC) and conventionally decellularized carotids (con-dEAC). Both decellularization protocols comparably reduced matrix compliance (venous pressure compliance: 32.2 and 27.4% of n-EAC; p < 0.01 and arterial pressure compliance: 26.8 and 23.7% of n-EAC, p < 0.01) but had no effect on suture retention strength and burst pressure. Matrix characterization revealed unchanged collagen contents but a 39.0% (con-dEAC) and 26.4% (int-dEAC, p < 0.01) reduction of glycosaminoglycans, respectively. Cytotoxicity was not observed in either dEAC matrix which was also displayed by an intact endothelial lining after seeding. Thus, even intensified decellularization generates matrix scaffolds highly suitable for vascular tissue engineering purposes, e.g., the generation of haemodialysis shunts.


Vascular graft Detergents Compliance Burst pressure Suture retention strength Extracellular matrix 



(a) There were no contributions that do not justify authorship (b) We thank S. Reuss and M. Harder for the conductance of the Picogreen assay and R. Abedian for his help with the sGAG determination. (c) The work was funded by the “Else Kroener-Fresenius foundation”, Germany. (d) No conflict of interest exists.

Supplementary material

10439_2015_1328_MOESM1_ESM.tif (737 kb)
Supplemental figure S1: Custom-made burst chamber device comprised of an aluminum chamber with a central hole through which the pressure is applied on the sample and with a side entrance for the monitoring of the pressure. Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 737 kb)
10439_2015_1328_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1 mb)
Supplemental figure S2: Mechanical tester for suture retention strength (SRT) test with fixed decellularized equine carotid artery under low tension (A) or near rupture (B). Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 1071 kb)
10439_2015_1328_MOESM3_ESM.tif (900 kb)
Supplemental figure S3: Custom-made device for circumferential compliance determination. A: Compliance chamber with fixed decellularized equine carotid artery. B: Pressure unit for the generation of pulses with a small piston driven by a linear motor. Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 900 kb)


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Böer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luis G. Hurtado-Aguilar
    • 3
  • Melanie Klingenberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Skadi Lau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Jockenhoevel
    • 3
  • Axel Haverich
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mathias Wilhelmi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.GMP-Model Laboratory for Tissue EngineeringHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Division for Cardiac-, Thoracic-, Transplantation- and Vascular SurgeryHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Department of Tissue Engineering and Textile ImplantsAME - Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz InstituteAachenGermany

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