Authors Name: 
Fiona Malone
University of Limerick
Engineering & Built Environment
Award winner

The Automated Decellularisation of Ovine and Porcine Biological Tissues: A Preliminary Investigation

Decellularised xenogeneic extracellular matrix (ECM) is an increasingly popular biomaterial used for tissue engineering applications and has the potential to produce positive clinical outcomes. Decellularisation involves complete removal of cellular remnants from biological tissue, to reduce the occurrence of adverse host immunological responses post implantation, without compromising mechanical integrity. This project proposes to investigate the decellularisation of ovine and porcine soft tissue, using a unique automated processing technique, to assist development of tissue engineered biological scaffolds. A validated decellularisation protocol using the Automated Decellularisation Platform (ADP) was developed by CABER (Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research). Quantification of cellular remnants, biocompatibility and mechanical performance of the treated tissue produced using the ADP is presented. It was found that both ovine and porcine soft tissues displayed reduced DNA levels and an absence of cellular components post ADP decellularisation. These findings are the initial qualification for ADP protocols necessary to decellularise ovine and porcine soft tissues and ultimately will lead to the creation of new commercially available biological scaffolds.