OBJECTIVES The aim of this research is to investigate the histological and mechanical properties of decellularized aortic intima-media, a promising cardiovascular biomaterial. METHODS Porcine aortic intima-media was decellularized using two methods: high hydrostatic pressurization (HHP) and sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The histological properties were characterized using haematoxylin and eosin staining and Elastica van Gieson staining. The mechanical properties were evaluated using a tensile strength test. RESULTS The structure of the HHP-treated samples was unchanged histologically, whereas that of the SDS-treated samples appeared structurally loose. Consequently, with regard to the mechanical properties of SDS-decellularized intima-media, elastic modulus and tensile strength were significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS The decellularization method affected the structure and the mechanical properties of the biomaterial. The HHP-treated sample was structurally and mechanically similar to the untreated control. Its mechanical properties were similar to those of human heart valves and the iliac artery and vein. Our results imply that porcine aortic intima-media that is decellularized with HHP is a potential cardiovascular biomaterial.
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