IJCEM Copyright © 2008-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Int J Clin Exp Med 2013;6(7):524-531

Original Article
Decellularized porcine pulmonary arteries cross-linked by carbodiimide

Xiu-Fang Xu, Hai-Ping Guo, Da Gong, Jin-Hui Ma, Zhi-Wei Xu, Ju-Yi Wan, Zhuo-Guang Wang, Zi-Fan Zhou, Wen-Bin Li, Yi Xin

Department of Cardiac Surgery and Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessels, Anzhen Hospital,
Capital Medical University, Beijing 100029, China; Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, First Hospital of Handan, Handan 056002,
China; Department of Cardiac Surgery, Chest Hospital of Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450003, China. Equal contributors.

Received May 22, 2013; Accepted June 25, 2013; Epub August 1, 2013; Published August 15, 2013

Abstract: The physical properties of the tissues are weakened after decellularization, and the exposed collagen fibers are prone to
thrombogenesis. Several studies have proven that the use of carbodiimide (EDC) as a cross-linking agent can improve the properties
of decellularized xenogeneic scaffold materials. We adopted EDC for the treatment of porcine pulmonary arteries in an effort to improve
the physical properties of these arteries following decellularization. Twenty porcine pulmonary arteries were randomly divided into 3
groups. The control group (group A) consisted of fresh porcine pulmonary arteries with no further processing; group B was treated with
trypsin and the detergent Triton X-100 to remove cells; and group C was cross-linked with EDC after trypsin and Triton X-100 treatment,
as in group B. The pulmonary arteries were assessed based on water content, thickness, tensile strength, and thermal shrinkage
temperature, to evaluate the physical properties of all of the samples. The scaffolds were then subcutaneously embedded in rabbits.
These constructs were removed after 4 weeks and checked. The cells and matrix components of the arterial walls were removed and
the fibrous scaffolds were retained. In group B, the moisture content of the pulmonary arterial walls was increased; and the thickness of
the walls and the tensile strength of the pulmonary arteries were decreased in comparison with group A. In subcutaneous embedding
of the group B samples in rabbits, after 4 weeks, fibroblasts had grown into the scaffolds and regenerated the tissue. The water content
was decreased in the pulmonary arterial walls, there was an increase in the tensile strength and the thermal shrinkage temperature in
group C compared with group B. The EDC-based cross-linking procedure can enhance the tensile strength of decellularized
pulmonary arteries and decrease scaffold rejection and degradation and promote tissue regeneration in vivo. (IJCEM1305013).

Keywords: EDC cross-linking, decellularization, pulmonary arteries

Address correspondence to: Dr. Wen-Bin Li, Department of Cardiac Surgery, Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessels, Anzhen
Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100029, China. Phone: 0086-13701133521; Fax: 86-010-64444521; E-mail: