Indexed on: 27 Jan '10Published on: 27 Jan '10Published in: Tissue engineering. Part A
Following ischemic injury in the heart, little to no repair occurs, causing a progressive degeneration of cardiac function that leads to congestive heart failure. Cardiac tissue engineering strategies have focused on designing a variety of injectable scaffolds that range in composition from single-component materials to complex extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived materials. In this study, the pericardial ECM, a commonly used biomaterial, was investigated for use as an injectable scaffold for cardiac repair. It was determined that a solubilized form of decellularized porcine pericardium could be injected and induced to gel in vivo, prompting investigation with human pericardium, which has the decided advantage of offering an autologous therapy. Characterization showed that the matrix gels retained components of the native pericardial ECM, with extant protein and glycosaminoglycan content identified. The results of an in vitro migration assay indicate that the porcine pericardial matrix is a stronger chemoattractant for relevant cell types, but in vivo results showed that the two materials caused statistically similar amounts of neovascularization, demonstrating feasibility as injectable treatments. Potential stem cell mobilization was supported by the presence of c-Kit+ cells within the matrix injection regions. With this work, the pericardium is identified as a novel source for an autologous scaffold for treating myocardial infarction.