Today, the most widely recognized method of removing cells is “immersion decellularization,” which is accomplished through the submersion of a tissue or organ in chemical and enzymatic treatments. Immersion decellularization is constrained to thin tissues with limited vascular systems because the technology relies on the chemicals to diffuse from the outer surface inward, then back out once the cells are removed.
Our perfusion decellularization technology contrasts immersion decellularization and overcomes the associated hurdles by facilitating rapid access to the whole organ. This is accomplished by cannulating the main vasculature and perfusing a mild detergent solution through the native blood vessels. Because organs are rich in vasculature, most cells are located in close proximity to a capillary, resulting in an exponential increase in the effective surface area of the detergent and decreased time to rid of the cellular material as it is expelled through the venous system.
The result is a preserved native scaffold containing the appropriate strength and microenvironment for cellular integration after implantation in the patient.
The liver’s portal and hepatic veins are cannulated and connected to a perfusion apparatus. The liver is then continuously flushed from the “inside-out” with a gentle ingredient, found in baby shampoo and hand soap, to remove cellular material.
After 24 Hours
Once decellularized, the liver is disinfected and cleansed with water and saline to ensure that residual detergent is removed.