Investigative study of long-term packaging effects and donor characteristics on acellular dermis scaffolds
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Acellular tissue sources have become progressively popular for a variety of tissue engineering and medical applications, such as soft tissue augmentation, skin and vascular grafts, engineered scaffolds, and hernia repair materials. Before tissue sources can be utilized commercially for these practices they usually are decellularized, i.e., have all cellular and nuclear material removed from the extracellular matrix (ECM), and then they are packaged in a convenient, sterile manner for the medical community. While the decellularization techniques have been extensively researched, little is known about the effects of storage or the variability of donor characteristics on the decellularized ECM scaffold. In these studies, acellular dermal grafts stored in ethanol and DI water were analyzed, along with fresh and processed grafts of varying donor characteristics. Dermal grafts from three human donors were subject to varying storage times (t=7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days) to assess the degree of physicochemical changes in the ECM scaffold. Fresh and processed grafts of ten donors with varying backgrounds were used to assess the variability of donor characteristics. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), FT-IR spectroscopy, collagenase assay, and tensile testing were utilized to determine ECM variation and physicochemical changes based on storage times and donor variability.
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