Biologic scaffolds prepared from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of decellularized mammalian tissues have been shown to facilitate constructive remodeling in injured tissues such as skeletal muscle, the esophagus, and lower urinary tract, among others. The ECM of every tissue has a unique composition and structure that likely has direct effects on the host response and it is plausible that ECM harvested from a given tissue would provide distinct advantages over ECM harvested from nonhomologous tissues. For example, a tissue specific muscle ECM scaffold may be more suitable for constructive remodeling of skeletal muscle than non-homologous ECM tissue sources. The present study describes an enzymatic and chemical decellularization process for isolating skeletal muscle ECM scaffolds using established decellularization criteria and characterized the structure and chemical composition of the resulting ECM. The results were compared to those from a non-muscle ECM derived from small intestine (SIS). Muscle ECM was shown to contain growth factors, glycosaminoglycans, and basement membrane structural proteins which differed from those present in SIS. Myogenic cells survived and proliferated on muscle ECM scaffolds in vitro, and when implanted in a rat abdominal wall injury model in vivo was shown to induce a constructive remodeling response associated with scaffold degradation and myogenesis in the implant area; however, the remodeling outcome did not differ from that induced by SIS by 35 days post surgery. These results suggest that superior tissue remodeling outcomes are not universally dependent upon homologous tissue derived ECM scaffold materials.
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