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Analytical study to evaluate the extracellular matrix in processed acellular xenografts



In cardiovascular surgical practice, there is requisite for conduits and patches both in congenital and acquired heart diseases. There are several important limitations in the commercially available grafts apart from their cost factor. The mismatch between the availability vs. need of homografts, have led to processed xenografts to develop into important substitutes. The decellularization process remains crucial, as the presence of cells implies adverse immune response.


Bovine pericardium and porcine pulmonary artery were harvested and procured from an inspected abattoir under sterile conditions were processed. Acellularity and elastic fiber orientation of the processed tissues was proven by Haematoxylin and Eosin staining and Elastic van Geison staining (EVG). Immuno histochemistry studies were utilized to detect the presence of essential extracellular matrix molecules such as collagen type I, collagen type IV, laminin, fibronectin in the processed xenografts (bovine pericardium, porcine pulmonary artery) along with total Glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) quantification by Dimethylmethylene Blue (DMMB) assay.

Results and conclusion

It was found that processed xenografts were completely acellular but the extracellular matrix proteins collagen type I, collagen type IV, laminin, fibronectin and total GAG’s were preserved and not damaged by the procedure. Thus enabling us to explain their promise of autologous cell deposition in a span of 6 months (large animal experimental studies).

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The authors thank Mr. Janardhan Reddy for preparing immunohistochemical sections, R. Balasundari and Sheerin Begam Nasser for assistance with decellularization, Dillip Kumar Bishi, Suneel Rallapalli for their scientific inputs and Pandian A. for technical backing.

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Correspondence to Soma Guhathakurta.

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Galla, S., Mathapati, S., Nayak, V.M. et al. Analytical study to evaluate the extracellular matrix in processed acellular xenografts. Indian J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 26, 132–138 (2010).

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  • Decellularization
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Processed xenografts