Urethral reconstruction of critical defects in rabbits using molecularly defined tubular type I collagen biomatrices: key issues in growth factor addition.
SourceTissue Engineering Part A, 16, 11, (2010), pp. 3319-28
01 november 2010
Article / Letter to editor
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Tissue Engineering Part A
SubjectNCMLS 3: Tissue engineering and pathology
Tubular type I collagen biomatrices with and without growth factors (GFs) were constructed and evaluated in a rabbit model for critical urethral defects. Porous tubular biomatrices with an inner diameter of 3 mm were prepared using highly purified collagen fibrils and were crosslinked with or without heparin. Heparinized biomatrices were supplemented with the heparin-binding GFs vascular endothelial GF, fibroblast GF-2, and heparin-binding epidermal GF. Biomatrices with and without GFs were used to replace a critical 1 cm urethral segment in rabbits (n = 32). All animals showed normal urination without urinary retention. General histology and immunohistology of graft areas (2, 4, 12, and 24 weeks after implantation) indicated that all biomatrices were replaced by urethra-like structures with normal appearing cytokeratin-positive urothelium surrounded by vascularized tissue. The GF-containing biomatrices showed an increase in extracellular matrix deposition, neovascularization, urothelium, glands, granulocytes, and fibroblasts, compared with biomatrices without GF. GFs substantially improved molecular features of healing but failed to be superior in functional outcome. Retrograde urethrography indicated a normal urethral caliber in case of biomatrices without GF, but a relative narrowing of the urethra at 2 weeks postsurgery and diverticula after 4 weeks in case of biomatrices with GF. In conclusion, tubular acellular type I collagen biomatrices were successful in repairing urethral lesions in artificial urethral defects, and inclusion of GF has a profound effect on regenerative processes.
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