Using biology to remove cells

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Science  27 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6400, pp. 376-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6400.376-d

Decellularization is used to obtain extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but the methods for stripping out the cells can be chemically harsh and cause damage to the ECM components or their overall architecture. Cornelison et al. treated peripheral nerve tissue with camptothecin, which triggers apoptosis, causing cell death and degradation. The fragments and any remaining cytotoxic compounds were removed with only a mild wash using saline solution or deoxyribonuclease, leaving the nerve scaffold intact without substantive loss of collagen or glycosaminoglycan content. In vivo testing in rats found no immunogenic response and a lower histological score than in isograft negative controls after 4 weeks.

Acta Biomat. 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.07.009 (2018).

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