Decellularization has emerged as a potential solution for tracheal replacement. As a fully decellularized graft failed to achieve its purposes, the de-epithelialization partial decellularization protocol appeared to be a promising approach for fabricating scaffolds with preserved mechanical properties and few immune rejection responses after transplantation. Nevertheless, a lack of appropriate concurrent epithelialization treatment can lead to luminal stenosis of the transplant and impede its eventual success. To improve re-epithelialization, autologous nasal epithelial cell sheets generated by our cell sheet engineering platform were utilized in this study under an in vivo rabbit model. The newly created cell sheets have an intact and transplantable appearance, with their specific characteristics of airway epithelial origin being highly expressed upon histological and immunohistochemical analysis. Subsequently, those cell sheets were incorporated with a partially decellularized tracheal graft for autograft transplantation under tracheal partial resection models. The preliminary results two months post operation demonstrated that the transplanted patches appeared to be wholly integrated into the host trachea with adequate healing of the luminal surface, which was confirmed via endoscopic and histologic evaluations. The satisfactory result of this hybrid scaffold protocol could serve as a potential solution for tracheal reconstructions in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas