Contributions of supercritical fluid technology for advancing decellularization and postprocessing of viable biological materials
The demand for tissue and organ transplantation worldwide has led to an increased interest in the development of new therapies to restore normal tissue function through transplantation of injured tissue with biomedically engineered matrices. Among these developments is decellularization, a process that focuses on the removal of immunogenic cellular material from a tissue or organ. However, decellularization is a complex and often harsh process that frequently employs techniques that can negatively impact the properties of the materials subjected to it. The need for a more benign alternative has driven research on supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) assisted decellularization. scCO2 can achieve its critical point at relatively low temperature and pressure conditions, and for its high transfer rate and permeability. These properties make scCO2 an appealing methodology that can replace or diminish the exposure of harsh chemicals to sensitive materials, which in turn could lead to better preservation of their biochemical and mechanical properties. The presented review covers relevant literature over the last years where scCO2-assisted decellularization is employed, as well as discussing major topics such as the mechanism of action behind scCO2-assisted decellularization, CO2 and cosolvents’ solvent properties, effect of the operational parameters on decellularization efficacy and on the material's properties.
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