A novel approach to prepare a tissue engineering decellularized valve scaffold with poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(ε-caprolactone)
The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of preparing a decellularized valve scaffold with methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG–PCL). This is the first report of applying MPEG–PCL to decellularize porcine aortic valves (PAVs). We evaluated its decellularization activity versus two commonly used agents (Triton X-100 and sodium deoxycholate (SD)) in terms of histological morphology, amount of valve-related components, biocompatibility and mechanical properties. The results revealed that 1% MPEG–PCL fully decellularized the valve cells, and the valve fiber structure remained intact. Compared to untreated native valves, the amount of residual DNA in the decellularization groups treated with 1% MPEG–PCL, Triton X-100 and SD were significantly reduced. The water content and collagen content in none of the decellularization groups were significantly different from the native valves. However, the elastin content in the valves of all the decellularization groups was significantly lower than in the native valves. In all the decellularization groups, some degree of platelet adhesion was observed, but the hemolysis rates of all groups were significantly smaller versus the native group. Cytotoxicity testing showed that MPEG–PCL was non-cytotoxic. For every decellularization group, the mechanical properties of the valve scaffolds along circumferential and radial directions were not significantly different from that of the valves. Our study indicates that MPEG–PCL can be used to prepare decellularized PAV. MPEG–PCL is non-cytotoxic and can completely remove cells from the valve while maintaining an intact extracellular matrix ultrastructure. We provide a novel decellularization method for the construction of a tissue engineered heart valve.