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Decellularized omentum as novel biologic scaffold for reconstructive surgery and regenerative medicine

Author(s): A. Porzionato | M. M. Sfriso | V. Macchi | A. Rambaldo | G. Lago | L. Lancerotto | V. Vindigni | R. De Caro

Journal: European Journal of Histochemistry
ISSN 1121-760X

Volume: 57;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e4;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: omentum | scaffold | decellularization | adipose tissue engineering | regenerative medicine | microvascularization

Homologous tissues, such as adipose tissue, may be an interesting source of acellular scaffolds, maintaining a complex physiological three-dimensional (3D) structure, to be recellularized with autologous cells. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the possibility of obtaining homologous acellular scaffolds from decellularization of the omentum, which is known to have a complex vascular network. Adult rat and human omenta were treated with an adapted decellularization protocol involving mechanical rupture (freeze-thaw cycles), enzymatic digestion (trypsin, lipase, deoxyribonuclease, ribonuclease) and lipid extraction (2-propanol). Histological staining confirmed the effectiveness of decellularization, resulting in cell-free scaffolds with no residual cells in the matrix. The complex 3D networks of collagen (azan-Mallory), elastic fibers (Van Gieson), reticular fibers and glycosaminoglycans (PAS) were maintained, whereas Oil Red and Sudan stains showed the loss of lipids in the decellularized tissue. The vascular structures in the tissue were still visible, with preservation of collagen and elastic wall components and loss of endothelial (anti-CD31 and -CD34 immunohistochemistry) and smooth muscle (anti-alpha smooth muscle actin) cells. Fat-rich and well vascularized omental tissue may be decellularized to obtain complex 3D scaffolds preserving tissue architecture potentially suitable for recellularization. Further analyses are necessary to verify the possibility of recolonization of the scaffold by adipose-derived stem cells in vitro and then in vivo after re-implantation, as already known for homologus implants in regenerative processes.
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