Antigen removal process preserves function of small diameter venous valved conduits, whereas SDS-decellularization results in significant valvular insufficiency

Higuita Manuela Lopera, Leigh G. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Chronic venous disease (CVD) is the most common reported chronic condition in the United States, affecting more than 25 million Americans. Regardless of its high occurrence, current therapeutic options are far from ideal due to their palliative nature. For best treatment outcomes, challenging cases of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are treated by repair or replacement of venous valves. Regrettably, the success of venous valve transplant is dependent on the availability of autologous venous valves and hindered by the possibility of donor site complications and increased patient morbidity. Therefore, the use of alternative tissue sources to provide off-the-shelf venous valve replacements has potential to be extremely beneficial to the field of CVI. This manuscript demonstrates the capability of producing off-the-shelf fully functional venous valved extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold conduits from bovine saphenous vein (SV), using an antigen removal (AR) method. AR ECM scaffolds maintained native SV structure-function relationships and associated venous valves function. Conversely, SDS decellularization caused significant changes to the collagen and elastin macromolecular structures, resulting in collagen fibril merging, elimination of fibril crimp, amalgaming collagen fibers and fragmentation of the inner elastic lamina. ECM changes induced by SDS decellularization resulted in significant venous valve dysfunction. Venous valved conduits generated using the AR approach have potential to serve as off-the-shelf venous valve replacements for CVI. Statement of Significance: Retention of the structure and composition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins within xenogeneic scaffolds for tissue engineering is of crucial importance, due to the undeniable effect ECM proteins can impose on repopulating cells and function of the resultant biomaterial. This manuscript demonstrates that alteration or elimination of ECM proteins via commonly utilized decellularization approach results in complete disruption of venous valve function. Conversely, retention of the delicate ECM structure and composition of native venous tissue, using an antigen removal tissue processing method, results in preservation of native venous valve function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalActa Biomaterialia
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020


  • Antigen removal
  • Decellularization
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Tissue engineering
  • Venous valve conduit
  • Xenogeneic scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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