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Biotechnology - Surgery

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy Evaluation of an Acellular Dermis Tissue Transplant (Epiflex®)
Published: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Author: Eric Dominic Roessner et al.

by Eric Dominic Roessner, Mario Vitacolonna, Peter Hohenberger

The structure of a biological scaffold is a major determinant of its biological characteristics and its interaction with cells. An acellular dermis tissue transplant must undergo a series of processing steps, to remove cells and genetic material and provide the sterility required for surgical use. During manufacturing and sterilization the structure and composition of tissue transplants may change. The composition of the human cell-free dermis transplant Epiflex® was investigated with specific attention paid to its structure, matrix composition, cellular content and biomechanics. We demonstrated that after processing, the structure of Epiflex remains almost unchanged with an intact collagen network and extracellular matrix (ECM) protein composition providing natural cell interactions. Although the ready to use transplant does contain some cellular and DNA debris, the processing procedure results in a total destruction of cells and active DNA which is a requirement for an immunologically inert and biologically safe substrate. Its biomechanical parameters do not change significantly during the processing.