Glycosaminoglycan content of small intestinal submucosa: A bioscaffold for tissue replacement

Jason P. Hodde, Stephen F. Badylak*, Andrew O. Brightman, Sherry L. Voytik-Harbin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Small intestinal submucosa (SIS) is a resorbable biomaterial that induces tissue remodeling when used as a xenogeneic tissue graft in animal models of vascular, urologic, dermatologic, neurologic, and orthopedic injury. Determination of the composition and structure of naturally occurring biomaterials such as SIS that promote tissue remodeling is necessary for the greater understanding of their role in wound healing. Since glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are important components of extracellular matrix (ECM) and SIS is primarily an ECM-based material, studies were performed to identify the species of glycosaminoglycans present in SIS. Porcine SIS was chemically extracted and the extracts were analyzed for uronic acid. The extractable uronic acid content was determined to be 47.7 μmol/g (approximately 21 μg GAG/mg) of the dry weight of the SIS tissue. Using electrophoretic separation of GAGs on cellulose acetate membranes, hyaluronic acid, heparin, heparan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate A, and dermatan sulfate were identified. Digestion of specific GAGs with selective enzymes confirmed the presence of these GAG species. Two GAGs common to other tissues with large basement membrane ECM components, keratan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate C, were not detected in the SIS extracts. Identification of specific GAGs in the composition of the ECM-rich SIS provides a starting point toward a more comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of this naturally occurring biomaterial with favorable in vivo tissue remodeling properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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