Xu, L., et al. Reseeding endothelial cells with fibroblasts to improve the re-endothelialization of pancreatic acellular scaffolds, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine.Volume 30, Number 7, 85
Pancreatic transplantation remains the only cure for diabetes, but the shortage of donors limits its clinical application. Whole organ decellularized scaffolds offer a new opportunity for pancreatic organ regeneration; however inadequate endothelialization and vascularization can prevent sufficient transport of oxygen and nutrient supplies to the transplanted organ, as well as leading unwanted thrombotic events. In the present study, we explored the re-endothelialization of rat pancreatic acellular scaffolds via circulation perfusion using human skin fibroblasts (FBs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Our results revealed that the cell adhesion rate when these cells were co-cultured was higher than under control conditions, and this increase was associated with increased release of growth factors including VEGF, FGFb, EGF, and IGF-1 as measured by ELISA. When these recellularized organs were implanted in vivo for 28 days in rat dorsal subcutaneous pockets, we found that de novo vasculature formation in the co-culture samples was superior to the control samples. Together these results suggest that endothelial cell and FB co-culture enhances the re-endothelialization and vascularization of pancreatic acellular scaffolds.