Urinary bladder matrix promotes site appropriate tissue formation following right ventricle outflow tract repair

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The current prevalence and severity of heart defects requiring functional replacement of cardiac tissue pose a serious clinical challenge. Biologic scaffolds are an attractive tissue engineering approach to cardiac repair because they avoid sensitization associated with homograft materials and theoretically possess the potential for growth in similar patterns as surrounding native tissue. Both urinary bladder matrix (UBM) and cardiac ECM (C-ECM) have been previously investigated as scaffolds for cardiac repair with modest success, but have not been compared directly. In other tissue locations, bone marrow derived cells have been shown to play a role in the remodeling process, but this has not been investigated for UBM in the cardiac location, and has never been studied for C-ECM. The objectives of the present study were to compare the effectiveness of an organ-specific C-ECM patch with a commonly used ECM scaffold for myocardial tissue repair of the right ventricle outflow tract (RVOT), and to examine the role of bone marrow derived cells in the remodeling response. A chimeric rat model in which all bone marrow cells express green fluorescent protein (GFP) was generated and used to show the ability of ECM scaffolds derived from the heart and bladder to support cardiac function and cellular growth in the RVOT. The results from this study suggest that urinary bladder matrix may provide a more appropriate substrate for myocardial repair than cardiac derived matrices, as shown by differences in the remodeling responses following implantation, as well as the presence of site appropriate cells and the formation of immature, myocardial tissue.

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