Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Olivares-Navarrete

Second Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Heise

Third Advisor

Dr. Hu Yang


Decellularized extracellular matrices have been a growing area of interest in the biomedical engineering fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.As these materials move toward clinical applications, the immune response to these materials will be a driving force toward their success in clinical approaches. Fully digested decellularized matrix constructs derived from porcine liver, muscle and lung were created to test the adaptive immune response. Hydrogel characterization ensured that the materials had relatively similar stiffness levels to reduce variability, and in vitro studies were conducted. Each individual construct as well as a gelatin control were plated with a co-culture of macrophages and T-cells to measure T-cell proliferation. In addition standard markers of inflammation through qPCR were measured in the macrophage group. Constructs were then placed into animals for 3 and 7 days in addition to a second group that received constructs for 21 days before secondary constructs were placed. These groups were then sacrificed following 3, 7 and 14 days to measure the residual and memory-like response of the constructs. Our results showed that t-cell proliferation was increased with decellularized constructs, particularly in tissue with higher DNA content. In vivo, animals with secondary treatments showed extended inflammatory response, driven by Th1 and Th17 polarization suggesting a memory-like response due to recognition of peptides in the constructs from secondary placements.


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