eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2016   Volume No 32 – pages 58-73

Title: A new strategy for the decellularisation of large equine tendons as biocompatible tendon substitutes

Authors: M Bottagisio, AF Pellegata, F Boschetti, M Ferroni, M Moretti, AB Lovati

Address: Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, IRCCS Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute, via R. Galeazzi 4, 20161 Milan, Italy

E-mail: arianna.lovati at

Key Words: Xenograft, equine tendon, decellularisation, biomaterials, biomechanics, cell adhesion.

Publication date: July 8th 2016

Abstract: Tendon ruptures and/or large losses remain to be a great clinical challenge and often require full replacement of the damaged tissue. The use of auto- and allografts or engineered scaffolds is an established approach to restore severe tendon injuries. However, these grafts are commonly related to scarce biocompatibility, site morbidity, chronic inflammation and poor biomechanical properties. Recently, the decellularisation techniques of allo- or xenografts using specific detergents have been studied and have been found to generate biocompatible substitutes that resemble the native tissue.
This study aims to identify a novel decellularisation protocol for large equine tendons that would produce an extracellular matrix scaffold suitable for the regeneration of injured tendons in humans. Specifically, equine tendons were treated either with tri (n-butyl) phosphate alone, or associated to multiple concentrations of peracetic acid (1, 3 and 5 %), which has never before been tested in vitro.Samples were then analysed by histology and with biochemical, biomechanical, and cytotoxicity tests. The best decellularisation protocol, resulting from these examinations, was selected and the chosen scaffold was re-seeded with murine fibroblasts. Resulting grafts were tested for cell viability, histologic analysis, DNA and collagen content. The results identified 1 % tri (n-butyl) phosphate combined with 3 % peracetic acid as the most suitable decellularised matrix in terms of biochemical and biomechanical properties. Moreover, the non-cytotoxic nature of the decellularised matrix allowed for good fibroblast reseeding, thus demonstrating a biocompatible matrix that will be suitable for tendon tissue engineering and hopefully as substitutes in severe tendon damages.

Article download: Pages 58-73 (PDF file)