The most widely recognized method of removing cells in use today is “immersion decellularization” in which a tissue or organ is soaked in strong detergent which diffuses from the outer surface inward, and then back out once the cells are dissolved which is limited to a few millimeters. The end result is a partially degraded scaffold with a compromised vascular network and an outer organ capsule that will not maintain physiological pressures when tested.
Our perfusion decellularization technology is in contrast to immersion decellularization and overcomes the hurdles of immersion by facilitating rapid access to the whole organ through the native vasculature by cannulating the vasculature and perfusing a mild detergent solution through the native blood vessels as opposed to immersing the organ. Because organs are dense with vascular capillaries, 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 dissolve the cellular material as it is expelled through the venous system.
The end result is a preserved native scaffold containing the appropriate strength and microenvironment for cellular integration after it is implanted in the patient’s body.