Perfusion-decellularized pancreas as a natural 3D scaffold for pancreatic tissue and whole organ engineering

Saik Kia Goh, Suzanne Bertera, Phillip Olsen, Joseph E. Candiello, Willi Halfter, Guy Uechi, Manimalha Balasubramani, Scott A. Johnson, Brian M. Sicari, Elizabeth Kollar, Stephen F. Badylak, Ipsita Banerjee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Approximately 285 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, with insulin supplementation as the most common treatment measure. Regenerative medicine approaches such as a bioengineered pancreas has been proposed as potential therapeutic alternatives. A bioengineered pancreas will benefit from the development of a bioscaffold that supports and enhances cellular function and tissue development. Perfusion-decellularized organs are a likely candidate for use in such scaffolds since they mimic compositional, architectural and biomechanical nature of a native organ. In this study, we investigate perfusion-decellularization of whole pancreas and the feasibility to recellularize the whole pancreas scaffold with pancreatic cell types. Our result demonstrates that perfusion-decellularization of whole pancreas effectively removes cellular and nuclear material while retaining intricate three-dimensional microarchitecture with perfusable vasculature and ductal network and crucial extracellular matrix (ECM) components. To mimic pancreatic cell composition, we recellularized the whole pancreas scaffold with acinar and beta cell lines and cultured up to 5 days. Our result shows successful cellular engraftment within the decellularized pancreas, and the resulting graft gave rise to strong up-regulation of insulin gene expression. These findings support biological utility of whole pancreas ECM as a biomaterials scaffold for supporting and enhancing pancreatic cell functionality and represent a step toward bioengineered pancreas using regenerative medicine approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6760-6772
Number of pages13
Issue number28
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracellular matrix scaffold
  • Pancreatic β-cells
  • Tissue and organ engineering
  • Whole organ decellularization


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