Decellularization of Whole Human Heart Inside a Pressurized Pouch in an Inverted Orientation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ultimate solution for patients with end-stage heart failure is organ transplant. But donor hearts are limited, immunosuppression is required, and ultimately rejection can occur. Creating a functional, autologous bio-artificial heart could solve these challenges. Biofabrication of a heart comprised of scaffold and cells is one option. A natural scaffold with tissue-specific composition as well as micro- and macro-architecture can be obtained by decellularizing hearts from humans or large animals such as pigs. Decellularization involves washing out cellular debris while preserving 3D extracellular matrix and vasculature and allowing "cellularization" at a later timepoint. Capitalizing on our novel finding that perfusion decellularization of complex organs is possible, we developed a more "physiological" method to decellularize non-transplantable human hearts by placing them inside a pressurized pouch, in an inverted orientation, under controlled pressure. The purpose of using a pressurized pouch is to create pressure gradients across the aortic valve to keep it closed and improve myocardial perfusion. Simultaneous assessment of flow dynamics and cellular debris removal during decellularization allowed us to monitor both fluid inflow and debris outflow, thereby generating a scaffold that can be used either for simple cardiac repair (e.g. as a patch or valve scaffold) or as a whole-organ scaffold.

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor, D. A., Sampaio, L. C., Cabello, R., Elgalad, A., Parikh, R., Wood, R. P., ... Lee, P.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • November 2018