Oxygen diffusivity of biologic and synthetic scaffold materials for tissue engineering

Jolene E. Valentin, Donald O. Freytes, Jonathan M. Grasman, Colin Pesyna, John Freund, Thomas W. Gilbert, Stephen F. Badylak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications are commonly manufactured from synthetic materials, intact or isolated components of extracellular matrix (ECM), or a combination of such materials. After surgical implantation, the metabolic requirements of cells that populate the scaffold depend upon adequate gas and nutrient exchange with the surrounding microenvironment. The present study measured the oxygen transfer through three biologic scaffold materials composed of ECM including small intestinal submucosa (SIS), urinary bladder submucosa (UBS), and urinary bladder matrix (UBM), and one synthetic biomaterial, Dacron™. The oxygen diffusivity was calculated from Fick's first law of diffusion. Each material permitted measurable oxygen diffusion. The diffusivity of SIS was found to be dependent on the direction of oxygen transfer; the oxygen transfer in the abluminal-to-luminal direction was significantly greater than the luminal-to-abluminal direction. The oxygen diffusivity of UBM and UBS were similar despite the presence of an intact basement membrane on the luminal surface of UBM. Dacron showed oxygen diffusivity values seven times greater than the ECM biomaterials. The current study showed that each material has unique oxygen diffusivity values, and these values may be dependent on the scaffold's ultrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1017
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biologic scaffold material
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Oxygen diffusivity
  • Tissue engineering
  • Ultrastructure


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