Creation and implantation of acellular rat renal ECM-based scaffolds

Andrea Peloso, Jacopo Ferrario, Benedetta Maiga, Ilaria Benzoni, Carolina Bianco, Antonio Citro, Manuela Currao, Alessandro Malara, Annalisa Gaspari, Alessandra Balduini, Massimo Abelli, Lorenzo Piemonti, Paolo Dionigi, Giuseppe Orlando, Marcello Maestri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Kidney transplantation is the only potentially curative treatment for patient facing end-stage renal disease, and it is now routinely used. Its use is mainly limited by the supply of transplantable donor organs, which far exceeds the demand. Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering offer promising means for overcoming this shortage. In the present study, we developed and validated a protocol for producing acellular rat renal scaffolds. Left kidneys were removed from 26 male Lewis rats (weights: 250-350 g) and decellularized by means of aortic anterograde perfusion with ionic and anionic detergents (Triton X-100 1% and SDS 1%, respectively). 19 scaffolds thus obtained (and contralateral native kidneys as controls) were deeply characterized in order to evaluate the decellularization quality, the preservation of extracellular matrix components and resultant micro-angioarchitecture structure. The other 7 were transplanted into 7 recipient rats that had undergone unilateral nephrectomy. Recipients were sacrificed on post-transplantation day 7 and the scaffolds subjected to histologic studies. The dual-detergent protocol showed, with only 5 h of perfusion per organ, to obtain thoroughly decellularized renal scaffolds consisting almost exclusively of extracellular matrix. Finally the macro- and the microarchitecture of the renal parenchyma were well preserved, and the grafts were implanted with ease. Seven days after transplant, the scaffolds were morphologically intact although all vascular structures were obstructed with thrombi. Production and implantation of acellular rat renal scaffolds is a suitable platform for further studies on regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-74
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Animals
  • Cell-Free System
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Kidney
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  • Journal Article


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