Unlocking the Promise of Decellularized Pancreatic Tissue: A Novel Approach to Support Angiogenesis in Engineered Tissue

Lei Hao, Fariba Khajouei, Jaselin Rodriguez, Soojin Kim, Eun Jung A. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advancements in regenerative medicine have highlighted the potential of decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) as a scaffold for organ bioengineering. Although the potential of ECM in major organ systems is well-recognized, studies focusing on the angiogenic effects of pancreatic ECM are limited. This study investigates the capabilities of pancreatic ECM, particularly its role in promoting angiogenesis. Using a Triton-X-100 solution, porcine pancreas was successfully decellularized, resulting in a significant reduction in DNA content (97.1% removal) while preserving key pancreatic ECM components. A three-dimensional ECM hydrogel was then created from this decellularized tissue and used for cell culture. Biocompatibility tests demonstrated enhanced adhesion and proliferation of mouse embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells (mES-ECs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in this hydrogel compared to conventional scaffolds. The angiogenic potential was evaluated through tube formation assays, wherein the cells showed superior tube formation capabilities in ECM hydrogel compared to rat tail collagen. The RT-PCR analysis further confirmed the upregulation of pro-angiogenic genes in HUVECs cultured within the ECM hydrogel. Specifically, HUVECs cultured in the ECM hydrogel exhibited a significant upregulation in the expression of MMP2, VEGF and PAR-1, compared to those cultured in collagen hydrogel or in a monolayer condition. The identification of ECM proteins, specifically PRSS2 and Decorin, further supports the efficacy of pancreatic ECM hydrogel as an angiogenic scaffold. These findings highlight the therapeutic promise of pancreatic ECM hydrogel as a candidate for vascularized tissue engineering application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering


  • angiogenesis
  • biological scaffold
  • biomaterials
  • decellularization
  • pancreatic ECM
  • tissue engineering and regenerative medicine


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