Constructive Remodeling of Biologic Scaffolds is Dependent on Early Exposure to Physiologic Bladder Filling in a Canine Partial Cystectomy Model

Alan V. Boruch, Alejandro Nieponice, Irfan R. Qureshi, Thomas W. Gilbert, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) have been used to facilitate the constructive remodeling of several tissue types. Previous studies suggest that the ECM scaffold remodeling process is dependent on microenvironmental factors, including tissue-specific biomechanical loading. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of long-term catheterization (LTC), with its associated inhibition of bladder filling and physiologic biomechanical loading, on ECM scaffold remodeling following partial cystectomy in a canine model. Reconstruction of the partial cystectomy site was performed using ECM scaffolds prepared from porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) or porcine urinary bladder matrix (UBM). Animals were randomly assigned to either a long-term catheterization (LTC) group (n = 5, catheterized 28 d) or a short-term catheterization group (STC, n = 5, catheterized 24h), and scaffold remodeling was assessed by histologic methods at 4 and 12 wk postoperatively. By 4 wk, animals in the STC group showed a well-developed and highly differentiated urothelium, a robust vascularization network, abundant smooth muscle actin (SMA), and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (smMHC) expressing spindle-shaped cells, and many neuronal processes associated with newly formed arterioles. In contrast, at 4 wk the scaffolds in LTC animals were not epithelialized, and did not express neuronal markers. The scaffolds in the LTC group developed a dense granulation tissue containing SMA+, smMHC-, spindle-shaped cells that were morphologically and phenotypically consistent with myofibroblasts, but not smooth muscle cells. By 12 wk postoperatively, the ECM scaffolds in the STC animals showed a constructive remodeling response, with a differentiated urothelium and islands of smooth muscle cells within the remodeled scaffold. In contrast, at 12 wk the scaffolds in LTC animals had a remodeling response more consistent with fibrosis even though catheters had been removed 8 wk earlier. These findings show that early exposure of site-appropriate mechanical loading (i.e., bladder filling) mediates a constructive remodeling response after ECM repair in a canine partial cystectomy model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Mechanical loading
  • Partial cystectomy
  • Remodeling


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