Development and systematic evaluation of decellularization protocols in different application models for diaphragmatic tissue engineering

Andreas, Marco N., et al. “Development and systematic evaluation of decellularization protocols in different application models for diaphragmatic tissue engineering.” Biomaterials Advances (2023): 213493.



Tissue engineered bioscaffolds based on decellularized composites have gained increasing interest for treatment of various diaphragmatic impairments, including muscular atrophies and diaphragmatic hernias. Detergent-enzymatic treatment (DET) constitutes a standard strategy for diaphragmatic decellularization. However, there is scarce data on comparing DET protocols with different substances in distinct application models in their ability to maximize cellular removal while minimizing extracellular matrix (ECM) damage.


We decellularized diaphragms of male Sprague Dawley rats with 1 % or 0.1 % sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and 4 % sodium deoxycholate (SDC) by orbital shaking (OS) or retrograde perfusion (RP) through the vena cava. We evaluated decellularized diaphragmatic samples by (1) quantitative analysis including DNA quantification and biomechanical testing, (2) qualitative and semiquantitative analysis by proteomics, as well as (3) qualitative assessment with macroscopic and microscopic evaluation by histological staining, immunohistochemistry and scanning electron microscopy.


All protocols produced decellularized matrices with micro- and ultramorphologically intact architecture and adequate biomechanical performance with gradual differences. The proteomic profile of decellularized matrices contained a broad range of primal core and ECM-associated proteins similar to native muscle. While no outstanding preference for one singular protocol was determinable, SDS-treated samples showed slightly beneficial properties in comparison to SDC-processed counterparts. Both application modalities proved suitable for DET.


DET with SDS or SDC via orbital shaking or retrograde perfusion constitute suitable methods to produce adequately decellularized matrices with characteristically preserved proteomic composition. Exposing compositional and functional specifics of variously treated grafts may enable establishing an ideal processing strategy to sustain valuable tissue characteristics and optimize consecutive recellularization. This aims to design an optimal bioscaffold for future transplantation in quantitative and qualitative diaphragmatic defects.