Decellularized tissues, in which the extracellular matrix is isolated, have broad applications as implantable biomaterials and/or biological scaffolds for tissue repair, and show good clinical performance. Decellularized tissue characteristics, such as their shape, structure, mechanical properties, and biological activity, are strongly affected by the decellularization protocol. The orthotopic implantation of decellularized tissues, a common procedure, typically induces cell infiltration and extracellular matrix (ECM) reconstruction resulting in tissues that resemble the source tissues. The ectopic implantation of decellularized tissues results in reconstruction that is either adapted to the implantation site or to the decellularized tissue source. In this review, the differences between methods are discussed. In addition, new methods aimed at extending the applications of decellularized tissues are discussed, particularly methods that confer novel functions to decellularized tissues, such as devices that link native tissues with artificial materials using decellularized tissue as an intermediate.
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