In vivo evaluation of cellular and acellular bovine pericardia fixed with a naturally occurring crosslinking agent (genipin).Biomaterials. 2002 Jun; 23(12):2447-57.B
A cell extraction process was employed in the study to remove the cellular components from bovine pericardium, leaving a framework of largely insoluble collagen and elastin. It was hypothesized in the literature that this process may decrease the antigenic load (or increase the biocompatibility) within the material. Additionally, acellular tissues may provide a natural microenvironment for host-cell migration to regenerate the tissue. The study was to evaluate the biocompatibility of cellular and acellular bovine pericardia fixed with a naturally occurring crosslinking agent (genipin) implanted subcutaneously in a growing rat model. Additionally, the tissue regeneration rate in the genipin-fixed acellular tissue was investigated. The glutaraldehyde-fixed counterparts were used as controls. The results indicated that the degrees in inflammatory reaction for the genipin-fixed cellular and acellular tissues were significantly less than their glutaraldehyde-fixed counterparts. Additionally, it was noted that the inflammatory reactions for the glutaraldehyde-fixed cellular and acellular tissues lasted much longer than their genipin-fixed counterparts. The tissue regeneration rate for the genipin-fixed acellular tissue was significantly faster than its glutaraldehyde-fixed counterpart. The calcium content of each studied group, analyzed by atomic absorption. did not change significantly until at the 52nd week, postoperatively. The differences in calcium content between the cellular and acellular tissues were insignificant for both the glutaraldehyde- and genipin-fixed groups throughout the entire course of the study. In summary, the biocompatibility of the genipin-fixed cellular and acellular tissues was superior to their glutaraldehyde-fixed counterparts. The genipin-fixed acellular tissue provided a better microenvironment for tissue regeneration than its glutaraldehyde-fixed counterpart, due to its low cytotoxicity. These results suggested that the genipin-fixed acellular tissue might be used as a tissue-engineering matrix in the clinical applications.