METHODS FOR MAKING ACELLULAR TISSUE MATRICES (2024)

This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/513,183, which was filed on Jul. 16, 2019, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/255,559, which was filed on Apr. 17, 2014, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/348,188, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,735,054, which was filed on Jan. 2, 2009; which claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/019,169, which was filed on Jan. 4, 2008. The contents of each of these applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

The present disclosure pertains generally to acellular tissue matrices, and to methods for preparing acellular tissue matrices.

The disclosure relates to the discovery of a variety of methods and compositions (e.g., solutions) useful for making, sterilizing, and preserving tissues (e.g., acellular tissue matrices). The disclosure thus features the methods along with acellular tissue matrices made by the methods for use in a variety of applications. For example, the acellular tissue matrices described herein can be used to treat injury to, or repair, a large number of tissues and/or organs in a mammal (e.g., a human). The matrices can be used to repair injuries to, e.g., fascia, bones, and/or cartilage.

In one aspect, the disclosure features a process for sterilizing a tissue sample. The process includes the steps of: contacting a tissue sample from a mammal with a solution comprising peracetic acid (PAA) and exposing the tissue sample to low-dose E-beam irradiation. The tissue sample can be contacted with the solution for between about 5 minutes to about 30 hours. The mammal can be a human or a non-human mammal, e.g., a porcine mammal, an equine mammal, or any of the non-human mammals recited herein. The tissue sample can be selected from the group consisting of skin, bone, cartilage, meniscus, dermis, myocardium, periosteum, artery, vein, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, diaphragm, tendon, ligament, neural tissue, striated muscle, smooth muscle, bladder, urethra, ureter, and gingiva. The tissue sample can be a decellularized tissue. In some embodiments, the decellularized tissue can have been treated with one or more of a DNA nuclease or an agent (such as alpha-galactosidase) that removes all, or substantially all, of the DNA or terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties from the decellularized tissue, respectively.

In some embodiments, the PAA can be at a concentration of between about 0.01% to about 2% in the solution. The PAA can be at a concentration of about 1% in the solution.

In some embodiments, the pH of the solution can be between about 4.0 to about 7.5. The pH of the solution can be between about 6.5 and 7.5.

In some embodiments, the solution can further comprise a salt. The salt can be present at a concentration of about 1M to about 2M in the solution.

In some embodiments, the solution can further comprise a biocompatible buffer. The biocompatible buffer can be, e.g., a phosphate buffer or any other biocompatible buffer known in the art or described herein.

In some embodiments, the tissue sample can be exposed to E-beam irradiation, e.g, at a dose of about 6 kGy to about 60 kGy. The tissue sample can be exposed to E-beam irradiation such that the matrix absorbs 6 kGy to 30 kGy of the radiation. The tissue sample can be exposed to E-beam irradiation for between about 2 hour and 12 hours.

In yet another aspect, the disclosure features a method for preparing an acellular tissue matrix (ATM). The method includes the steps of: (i) removing all, or substantially all, of the cells from a tissue sample from a mammal resulting in a decellularized tissue; (ii) contacting the decellularized tissue with a DNA nuclease that removes all, or substantially all, of the DNA from the decellularized tissue; and (iii) contacting the decellularized tissue with a solution comprising peracetic acid (PAA) and exposing the decellularized tissue to low-dose E-beam irradiation, to thereby prepare an ATM. The method can also include the step of contacting the decellularized tissue with an agent (such as alpha-galactosidase) capable of removing all, or substantially all, of the terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties from the decellularized tissue. The method can also include the step of testing for the presence or amount of one or more viruses in the decellularized tissue. The method can also include the step of removing all, or substantially all, of the epithelial basem*nt membrane from the decellularized tissue. The method can also include the step of subjecting the prepared ATM to one or more tests to determine the structural integrity of the ATM. For example, an ATM can be subjected to differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The method can also include the step of freeze-drying the ATM or contacting the ATM with a preservation solution such as any of those described herein. The method can also include the step of, where the tissue is a skin sample (e.g., an animal hide), removing the hair or bristle from the skin sample. The DNA nuclease can be, e.g., a DNA endonuclease or a DNA exonuclease. The DNA nuclease can be DNase I. The tissue sample can be any of those described above or that are recited herein.

In some embodiments, the removing can include contacting the tissue with one or more detergents capable of lysing cells. At least one of the one or more detergents can be a strong detergent or a mild detergent. The detergent can be, e.g., TWEEN 20, deoxycholate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, NP40, TRITON X-100™, saponin, digitonin, CHAPS, or any other suitable detergents known in the art or recited herein.

In some embodiments, the decellularized tissue can be contacted with the solution prior to exposure to low-dose E-beam irradiation. In some embodiments, the decellularized tissue can be exposed to low-dose E-beam irradiation prior to contact with the solution.

In some embodiments, the PAA can be at a concentration of between about 0.01% to about 2% in the solution comprising PAA. For example, the PAA can be at a concentration of about 1% in the solution comprising PAA.

In some embodiments, the decellularized tissue can be contacted with the solution for between about 5 minutes to about 30 hours.

In some embodiments, the pH of the solution comprising PAA can be between about 4.0 to about 7.5. For example, the pH of the solution comprising PAA can be between about 6.5 and 7.5. In some embodiments, the solution comprising PAA can have a neutral pH.

In some embodiments, the solution comprising PAA can also comprise a biocompatible buffer. The biocompatible buffer can be, e.g., a phosphate buffer or any other biocompatible buffer known in the art or described herein.

In some embodiments, the solution comprising PAA can further comprise a salt. The salt can be present at a concentration of about 1M to about 2M in the solution.

In some embodiments, the decellularized tissue can be exposed to E-beam irradiation, e.g., at a dose of about 6 kGy to about 60 kGy. The decellularized tissue can be exposed to E-beam irradiation such that the matrix absorbs 6 kGy to 30 kGy of the radiation. The decellularized tissue can be exposed to E-beam irradiation for between about 2 hours and 12 hours.

In another aspect, the disclosure features an acellular tissue matrix made by any of the methods described herein.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a method of treatment. The method comprises the steps of: (a) identifying a mammalian subject as having an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration; and (b) placing a composition comprising an acellular tissue matrix made by any of the methods described herein in or on the organ or tissue. The organ or tissue of the mammalian subject can be one selected from the group consisting of skin, bone, cartilage, meniscus, dermis, myocardium, periosteum, artery, vein, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, diaphragm, tendon, ligament, neural tissue, striated muscle, smooth muscle, bladder, urethra, ureter, abdominal wall fascia, and gingiva. The gingiva can be, or be proximal to, receding gingiva. The gingiva can comprise a dental extraction socket.

In some embodiments, the mammalian subject can have an abdominal wall defect or an abdominal wall injury.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a method of repairing fibrous tissue or cartilage in a mammalian subject. The method includes the steps of introducing to a target site of repair in a mammalian subject, a composition comprising an effective amount of an acellular tissue matrix made by any of the methods described herein sufficient to promote new fibrous tissue or cartilage formation at the target site in the mammalian subject. The target site of repair can be an abdominal wall defect or an abdominal wall injury. The target site can comprise a tissue selected from the group consisting of skin, bone, cartilage, meniscus, dermis, myocardium, periosteum, artery, vein, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, diaphragm, tendon, ligament, neural tissue, striated muscle, smooth muscle, bladder, urethra, ureter, abdominal wall fascia, and gingiva. The gingiva can be, or be proximal to, receding gingiva. The gingiva can comprise a dental extraction socket. The mammal can be a human or a non-human mammal.

In yet another aspect, the disclosure features a solution (a preservation or sterile solution) containing one or more, or all, of the following components: a biocompatible buffer; a salt; a surfactant; one or more reducing agents, transition metal chelators, and free-radical scavengers; a tissue stabilizer (and/or a microbial stasis agent); and one or more biocompatible co-solutes. The solution can have a pH of between about 5.2 to about 6.9 (e.g., a pH of about 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, or 6.9). The solution can also have a water activity of between about 0.930 to about 0.995 (e.g., about 0.931, 0.932, 0.933, 0.934, 0.935, 0.936, 0.937, 0.938, 0.939, 0.941, 0.942, 0.943, 0.944, 0.945, 0.946, 0.947, 0.948, 0.949, 0.950, 0.951, 0.952, 0.953, 0.954, 0.955, 0.956, 0.957, 0.958, 0.959, 0.960, 0.961, 0.962, 0.963, 0.964, 0.965, 0.966, 0.967, 0.968, 0.969, 0.970, 0.971, 0.972, 0.973, 0.974, 0.975, 0.976, 0.977, 0.978, 0.979, 0.980, 0.991, 0.992, 0.993, 0.994, or 0.995). The salt can be, e.g., a sodium salt such as sodium chloride (e.g., fluoride, sulfate, or phosphate). In some embodiments, the salt is not a potassium or a calcium salt. The salt can be at a concentration of up to about 150 (e.g., 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, or 150) mM in the solution.

In some embodiments, the surfactant can be, e.g., an ionic (e.g., anionic, cationic, or Zwitterionic) or non-ionic surfactant. For example, ionic surfactants include, e.g., SDS, ammonium laurel sulfate, alkyl benzene sulfonate, soaps, fatty acids, cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), benzalkonium chloride (BAC), benzethonium chloride (BZT), dodecyl betaine, dodecyl dimethylamine oxide, docamidopropyl betaine, and coco ampho glycinate. Non-ionic surfactants include, but are not limited to, TWEEN 20, TWEEN 80, alkyl poly(ethylene oxide), copolymers of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide), octyl glucoside, decyl maltoside, cetyl alcohol, oleyl alcohol, cocamide MEA, cocamide DEA, and cocamide TEA. The surfactant can be in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) or less (e.g., 0.19%, 0.18%, 0.17%, 0.16%, 0.15%, 0.14%. 0.13%, 0.12%, 0.11%, 0.10%, 0.09%, 0.08%, 0.07%, 0.06%, 0.05%, 0.04%, 0.03%, 0.02%, 0.01%, 0.009%, 0.005%, or 0.001% or lower) of the solution.

In some embodiments, the metal chelating agents can be, e.g., EDTA, EGTA, DMPS, DMSA, and DTPA. The metal chelating agent can be present at a concentration of between about 1 mM to about 50 mM (e.g., about 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 25, 27, 30, 32, 35, 37, 40, 42, 45, 47, or 50 mM) in the solution.

In some embodiments, suitable tissue stabilizers can be, e.g., glycerol, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), sodium glycerophosphate and any of a wide range of polyhydroxyl compounds (also sometimes called polyhydroxy or polyol compounds) such as poly-glycerol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), polyvinyl alcohols, or combinations of any of the foregoing. The tissue stabilizer can in an amount of about 10% or less (e.g., 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3,%, 2%, or 1% or less) of the solution or it can be at a concentration of about 500 mM or less (e.g., 450 mM, 400 mM, 350 mM, 300 mM 250 mM, 200 mM, 150 mM, 100 mM, 50 mM, 25 mM, or 10 mM or less) in the solution.

In some embodiments, the biocompatible co-solute can be, but is not limited to, sugars or sugar alcohols such as trehalose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol, arabitol, isomalt, maltitol, lactitol, or combinations of any of the foregoing. A biocompatible co-solute can be present in an amount of up to about 20% (w/v) or less (e.g., 19%, 18%, 17%, 16%, 15%, 14%, 13,%, 12%, or 11% 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3,%, 2%, or 1% or less) of the solution (or up to a concentration of 1 (e.g., 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, or up to 1) M in the solution).

In some embodiments, the solution can have a pH of about 5.4 to about 6.0 (e.g., a pH of about 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, or 6.0). In some embodiments, the solution can have a water activity of about 0.95 to about 0.97 (e.g., about 0.951, 0.952, 0.953, 0.954, 0.956, 0.957, 0.958, 0.959, 0.960, 0.961, 0.962, 0.963, 0.964, 0.966, 0.967, 0.968, 0.969, or 0.970).

In some embodiments, a solution can contain:

    • (i) citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; and glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution, and having a pH of about 5.4;
    • (ii) citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution; and trehalose at a concentration of about 500 mM, and having a pH of about 5.4;
    • (iii) citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution; trehalose at a concentration of about 200 mM; and mannitol at a concentration of about 200 mM; and having a pH of about 6.4;
    • (iv) 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM sodium citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mMNa2HPO4;
    • (v) 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM sodium citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 100 mM trehalose (dihydrate), 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mMNa2HPO4; or
    • (vi) 4.0 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium citrate, 5 mM sodium EDTA, 80 mM NaCl, 15% (w/v) glycerol, and 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20; and one of the following: (a) 300 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol; (b) 100 mM trehalose and 100 mM manmitol; (c) 100 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol; or (d) 300 mM trehalose and 100 mM mannitol.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a kit comprising any of the solutions described above and instructions for preserving a tissue.

In yet another aspect, the disclosure features an adhesive composition (for use in removing hair or bristle from a mammalian skin sample) comprising a wax component and a resin component. The adhesive composition can have one or more, or all, of the following physical and chemical properties such as, e.g.: (i) a wax portion of about 15% to about 20% in the adhesive is capable of changing state at a much lower temperature (e.g., about 42° C. or less (e.g., 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, or less than 20° C.)) than the resin portion alone (about 85° C.), which allows the adhesive to set up quickly yet exhibits poor conduction heat transfer characteristics; (ii) the adhesive property allows for a strengthened grip upon the individual bristles when encased in a solid plastic sheet of the hardened adhesive; (iii) the composition is extremely hydroscopic and thus any moisture latent in the bristle is absorbed by the adhesive; (iv) deposition of an insulating film of water-soluble wax upon the room temperature dermis is automatic and allows for filling of follicle holes with wax where bristles have been removed in previous passes; (v) the adhesive is flexible enough to bend during the removal phase without cracking, resulting in a consistent peeling profile to remove the bristle from the hide on a continuous sheet of cooled adhesive; (vi) the adhesive is compatible with a thick polypropylene mesh (e.g., TENAX Brand ¾″ hex (Tenax, Baltimore, MD)), which allows for augmentation for a first “pull” of bristle from the hide; (vii) the individual components of the adhesive are suitable for use with tissues intended for transplantation surgery; and (viii) the adhesive allows for a thorough method of bristle or hair removal without substantial damage to the dermal layer of the hide.

In some embodiments, the wax component of the adhesive can be a polyethyleneglycol (PEG), which can have an average molecular weight of about 600 daltons to about 3000 daltons. For example, a PEG can have an average molecular weight of about 600 daltons, about 800 daltons, about 1450 daltons, about 1500 daltons, about 2000 daltons, about 3000 daltons, or mixtures of any of the foregoing. One exemplary PEG useful in the adhesive solutions is a commercially available PEG, CARBOWAX SENTRY 1450, which is manufactured by the Dow Company.

In some embodiments, the resin component can be a polyamide resin comprising fatty polyamides made by the condensation of functional amines and polybasic acids (which can be obtained from unsaturated vegetable or tree or other plant oil acids or esters). In some embodiments, the resin of the adhesive composition can be a vegetable-oil based nylon such as MACROMELT 6071 (Henkel Adhesives Co.).

In some embodiments, the resin in the adhesive can be selected based on its Vicat softening point to molecular weight ratio. An exemplary Vicat softening point is that of Macromelt 6071.

In some embodiments, an adhesive composition can contain about 15% to about 20% by weight of a PEG and about 80% to about 85% by weight of a vegetable oil-based nylon. For example, an adhesive composition can contain about 20% of CARBOWAX SENTRY 1450 and about 80% of MACROMELT 6071.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a kit comprising any of the adhesive compositions described above and instructions for removing hair or bristle from a mammalian hide.

In yet another aspect, the disclosure features a method for removing hair or bristle from a mammalian hide. The method includes the steps of: providing a mammalian hide comprising a dermal portion and a surface with hair or bristle, wherein the hide is oriented such that the surface with the hair or bristle is downward; contacting the surface with a molten adhesive composition (such as any of the adhesive compositions described above); rapidly cooling the molten adhesive composition; rotating the dermal portion of the hide over a small radius roller, wherein the cooled adhesive layer is oriented to remain in a straight path; and aligning the tangent surface of the opposite rotation of a body (e.g., a claw roller) to intersect with the apex of the rotating path of the hide, wherein the advancing edge of the cooled adhesive can be rapidly pried away from the hide to thereby remove the hair or bristle from the surface of the hide. The adhesive can be applied at a thickness of about 1 mm to about 3 mm (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, or 3 mm).

In yet another aspect, the disclosure features a method for determining the pliability of a tissue sample (e.g., a skin sample from which the hair or bristle has been removed, e.g., using a method described herein). The determining can include subjecting the bald hide to a fold test, wherein the edge of the bald hide is gently folded over itself and wherein a fold of about 160° or more (e.g., 165°, 170°, 175°, 180°, 185°, or 190° or more) indicates a first level of pliability of the bald hide and a fold of less than about 160° (e.g., 155°, 150°, 145°, 140°, 135°, 130°, 125°, 120°, 115°, 110°, 105°, or 100° or even less) indicates a second level of pliability of the bald hide.

In another aspect, the disclosure features an article of manufacture comprising a container and a composition contained within the container. The composition contains an active agent for treating an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration in a mammal and the active agent in the composition comprises an acellular tissue matrix made by any of the methods described herein. The container has a label indicating that the composition is for use in treating an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration in mammal. The label can further indicate that the composition is to be administered to the mammal if the mammal is identified as having an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration. The types of organs and/or tissues that can be treated with a composition comprising an ATM are described above.

In some embodiments, the article can also include instructions for administering the active agent to the mammal.

In some embodiments, the ATM contained in the composition can be in a variety of forms such as, but not limited to, a liquid, colloid, semi-solid, solid, particulate, gel, paste, or combinations of any of the foregoing.

Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention pertains. In case of conflict, the present document, including definitions, will control. Preferred methods and materials are described below, although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the present invention. All publications, patent applications, patents and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. The materials, methods, and examples disclosed herein are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

Other features and advantages of the invention, e.g., methods for making an acellular tissue matrix, will be apparent from the following description, from the drawings and from the claims.

FIG. 1A is a series of line graphs depicting the radial distribution functions [g(r)] for water oxygen moieties around the geometric center of the protein (in an ATM) in the absence of 0.5 M trehalose.

FIG. 1B is a series of line graphs depicting the radial distribution functions [g(r)] for water oxygen moieties around the geometric center of the protein (in an ATM) in the presence of 0.5 M trehalose.

FIG. 1C is a series of line graphs depicting the radial distribution functions [g(r)] for trehalose oxygen moieties around the geometric center of the protein (in an ATM) or in the presence of 0.5 M trehalose.

FIG. 2A is a bar graph depicting the antimicrobial activity of an exemplary preservation solution formulations—Solution formulation #1—(including solutions diluted 1:5 in water) during storage at 2 to 8ºC. The Y-axis represents the reduction of microbes (in log 10). The X-axis represents the amount of time the exemplary solutions containing the different microorganisms were incubated.

FIG. 2B is a bar graph depicting the antimicrobial activity of an exemplary preservation solution formulations—Solution formulation #2—(including solutions diluted 1:5 in water) during storage at 2 to 8° C. The Y-axis represents the reduction of microbes (in log 10). The X-axis represents the amount of time the exemplary solutions containing the different microorganisms were incubated.

FIG. 3 is a bar graph depicting the effect of low dose gamma irradiation on bacterial growth in an exemplary preservation solution. The Y-axis represents the reduction of microbes (in log 10). The X-axis represents the dosage of gamma-irradiation delivered to the exemplary solution containing the different microorganisms.

FIG. 4A is a series of bar graphs depicting the change of histological scores for “hole formation” after cold (−80° C.) gamma irradiation. Data are presented as a mean±a standard deviation of 5 donor lots.

FIG. 4B is a series of bar graphs depicting the change of histological scores for “collagen damage” after cold (−80° C.) gamma irradiation. Data are presented as a mean±a standard deviation of 5 donor lots.

FIG. 4C is a series of bar graphs depicting the change of histological scores for “P/R transition” after cold (−80° C.) gamma irradiation. Data are presented as a mean±a standard deviation of 5 donor lots.

FIG. 5 is a series of thermograms of ATM (Alloderm® regenerative tissue matrix (RTM)) and bovine insoluble collagen matrix before and after 19 to 20 kGy gamma irradiation at ambient temperature. The Y-axis represents the heat flow (w/g) and the X-axis represents the temperature in ° C.

FIG. 6 is a series of thermograms of decellularized human and porcine dermal tissue matrices in an exemplary preservation solution before and after 20 kGy gamma irradiation at ambient temperature. The Y-axis represents the heat flow (w/g) and the X-axis represents the temperature in ° C.

FIG. 7A is of bar graph depicting the tensile strength tissue matrix after 26 kGy gamma irradiation. Data are presented as a mean±standard deviation of the values obtained from 4 replicates. The graph depicts the Maximum strength (Y-axis) of the tissue matrix treated with 26 kGy gamma irradiation without (F/D) or with a preservation solution (RTU).

FIG. 7B is of bar graph depicting stiffness of Yucatan porcine tissue matrix after 26 kGy gamma irradiation. Data are presented as a mean±standard deviation of the values obtained from 4 replicates. The right graph depicts the Stiffness (Y-axis) of the tissue matrix treated with 26 kGy gamma irradiation without (F/D) or with a preservation solution (RTU).

FIG. 8 is a line graph depicting the resistance of Yucatan porcine tissue matrix against collagenase digestion after gamma irradiation. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of three replicates (N=3). The Y-axis represents the percentage of tissue remaining and the X-axis represents time. The line denoted by filled circles represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was not treated with preservation solution or gamma irradiation. The line denoted by the filled squares represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was treated with gamma irradiation. The line denoted by the empty circles represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was treated with preservation solution and gamma irradiation.

FIG. 9 is a line graph depicting the resistance of Yucatan tissue matrix against proteinase K digestion after gamma irradiation. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of three replicates (N=3). The Y-axis represents the percentage of tissue remaining and the X-axis represents time. The line denoted by filled circles represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was not treated with preservation solution or gamma irradiation. The line denoted by the filled squares represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was treated with gamma irradiation. The line denoted by the empty circles represents the rate of digestion of tissue matrix that was treated with preservation solution and gamma irradiation.

FIG. 10 is a line graph depicting the depression of the onset tissue matrix denaturation temperature and denaturation enthalpy after gamma irradiation for a tissue matrix in an exemplary preservation solution. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of four donor lots. The Y-axis represents the Tm depression (in ° C.; left) or the ΔH enthalpy (right) and the X-axis represents the dosage of gamma irradiation. The line denoted by empty circles represents the ΔH and the line denoted by the filled squares represents Tm.

FIG. 11 is a line graph depicting the change of total histological scores of a tissue matrix exposed to a dose of gamma irradiation up to 25 kGy. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of four donor lots.

FIG. 12 is a line graph (split) depicting changes in stiffness and strength of a tissue matrix after gamma irradiation up to 25 kGy. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of four donor lots. The upper line represent the Stiffness of the tissue matrix (filled circles) and the lower line represents the maximum stress (empty circles) by dose of gamma irradiation (X-axis).

FIG. 13A is a line graph depicting the resistance of a tissue matrix against trypsin after gamma irradiation. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of four donor lots.

FIG. 13B is a line graph depicting the resistance of a tissue matrix to collagenase digestion after gamma irradiation. Data are presented as mean±standard deviation of four donor lots.

FIG. 14 is a bar graph depicting the content of tissue-bound lipid peroxidation by-products in tissue samples treated with exemplary preservation solutions (formulations 1 to 4) and E-beam irradiation (X-axis).

FIG. 15 is a bar graph depicting the results of a trypsin digestion assay for the human tissue matrix treated with exemplary preservation solutions (formulations 1 to 4) after 10 and 20 kGy E-beam irradiation (X-axis). Freeze dried tissue was used for comparison.

The disclosure features, inter alia, a variety of methods and compositions (e.g., solutions) useful for making and administering an acellular tissue matrix. The disclosure also features acellular tissue matrices that are made by any of the methods described herein. Such acellular tissue matrices can be used to treat injury to, or repair, a large number of tissues and/or organs in a mammal (e.g., a human). For example, the matrices can be used to repair injuries to facia, bones, and/or cartilage.

The disclosure also features compositions (e.g., solutions) and methods for sterilizing and preserving tissues (both acellular tissue matrices and cell-containing tissues). As detailed below, the methods can be used alone or in conjunction with the methods of making acellular tissue matrices.

Exemplary methods for making and preserving acellular tissue matrices as well as applications in which the matrices can be used are set forth below.

As used herein, an “acellular tissue matrix” (“ATM”) is a tissue-derived structure that is made from any of a wide range of collagen-containing tissues by removing all, or substantially all, viable cells and all detectable subcellular components and/or debris generated by killing or lysing cells. As used herein, an ATM lacking “substantially all viable cells” is an ATM in which the concentration of viable cells is less than 10% (e.g., less than: 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 0.9%, 0.8%, 0.7%, 0.6%, 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.3%, 0.2%, 0.1%; 0.01%; 0.001%; 0.0001%; 0.00001%; or 0.000001%) of that in the tissue or organ from which the ATM was made.

The ATM has been treated in such a way as to remove all, or substantially all, of the DNA in the tissue. As used herein, an ATM lacking “substantially all DNA” is an ATM in which the concentration of DNA is less than 10% (e.g., less than: 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 0.9%, 0.8%, 0.7%, 0.6%, 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.3%, 0.2%, 0.1%; 0.01%; 0.001%; 0.0001%; 0.00001%; or 0.000001%) of that in the tissue or organ from which the ATM was made. This includes all DNA (e.g., DNA within intact cells (alive or dead cells) or residual DNA material left from the decellularization process).

The ATM can, but need not necessarily, lack, or substantially lack, an epithelial basem*nt membrane. The epithelial basem*nt membrane is a thin sheet of extracellular material contiguous with the basilar aspect of epithelial cells. Sheets of aggregated epithelial cells form an epithelium. Thus, for example, the epithelium of skin is called the epidermis, and the skin epithelial basem*nt membrane lies between the epidermis and the dermis. The epithelial basem*nt membrane is a specialized extracellular matrix that provides a barrier function and an attachment surface for epithelial-like cells; however, it does not contribute any significant structural or biomechanical role to the underlying tissue (e.g., dermis). Unique components of epithelial basem*nt membranes include, for example, laminin, collagen type VII, and nidogen. The unique temporal and spatial organization of the epithelial basem*nt membrane distinguish it from, e.g., the dermal extracellular matrix. The presence of the epithelial basem*nt membrane in an ATM could be disadvantageous in that the epithelial basem*nt membrane likely contains a variety of species-specific components that would elicit the production of antibodies, and/or bind to preformed antibodies, in xenogeneic graft recipients of the acellular matrix. In addition, the epithelial basem*nt membrane can act as barrier to diffusion of cells and/or soluble factors (e.g., chemoattractants) and to cell infiltration. Its presence in ATM grafts can thus significantly delay formation of new tissue from the acellular tissue matrix in a recipient animal. As used herein, an ATM that “substantially lacks” an epithelial basem*nt membrane is an acellular tissue matrix containing less than 5% (e.g., less than: 4%, 3%; 2%; 1%; 0.5%; 0.25%; 0.1%; 0.01%; 0.001%; or even less than 0.001%) of the epithelial basem*nt membrane possessed by the corresponding unprocessed tissue from which the acellular tissue matrix was derived.

Biological functions retained by ATM include cell recognition and cell binding as well as the ability to support cell spreading, cell proliferation, and cell differentiation. Such functions are provided by undenatured collagenous proteins (e.g., type I collagen) and a variety of non-collagenous molecules (e.g., proteins that serve as ligands for either molecules such as integrin receptors, molecules with high charge density such glycosaminoglycans (e.g., hyaluronan) or proteoglycans, or other adhesins). As detailed in the accompanying Examples, ATMs produced by the methods described herein possess an ability to induce cellular repopulation and revascularization at the site of implantation. Thus, in some embodiments, an ATM produced by the methods described herein can support cellular repopulation or revascularization at a site of implantation that is at least 50% (e.g., at least: 50%; 60%; 70%; 80%; 90%; 95%; 98%; 99%; 99.5%; 100%; or more than 100%) of the number of cells (but not necessarily the type of cells) or of the level of vascularization (respectively) of the native tissue or organ from which the ATM is made.

Suitable methods for measuring the efficiency of the biological functions of an ATM are set forth in the accompanying Examples. In some embodiments, the efficacy of the biological functions of an ATM can be measured by the ability of the ATM to support cell proliferation and is at least 50% (e.g., at least: 50%; 60%; 70%; 80%; 90%; 95%; 98%; 99%; 99.5%; 100%; or more than 100%) of that of the native tissue or organ from which the ATM is made.

Structural functions retained by useful acellular matrices include maintenance of histological architecture, maintenance of the three-dimensional array of the tissue's components and physical characteristics such as strength, elasticity, and durability, defined porosity, and retention of macromolecules.

It is not necessary that the grafted matrix material be made from tissue that is identical to the surrounding host tissue but should simply be amenable to being remodeled by invading or infiltrating cells such as differentiated cells of the relevant host tissue, stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells, or progenitor cells. Remodeling is directed by the above-described ATM components and signals from the surrounding host tissue (such as cytokines, extracellular matrix components, biomechanical stimuli, and bioelectrical stimuli). The presence of mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow and the peripheral circulation has been documented in the literature and shown to regenerate a variety of musculoskeletal tissues (Caplan (1991) J. Orthop. Res. 9:641-650; Caplan (1994) Clin. Plast. Surg. 21:429-435; and Caplan et al. (1997) Clin Orthop. 342:254-269). Additionally, the graft must provide some degree (greater than threshold) of tensile and biomechanical strength during the remodeling process.

It is understood that the ATM can be produced from any collagen-containing soft tissue and musculo-skeleton or connective tissue (e.g., dermis, fascia, pericardium, dura, umbilical cords, placentae, cardiac valves, ligaments, tendons, vascular tissue (arteries and veins such as saphenous veins), neural connective tissue, urinary bladder tissue, ureter tissue, or intestinal tissue), as long as the above-described properties are retained by the matrix. Moreover, the tissues in which the above ATMs are placed include essentially any tissue that can be remodeled by invading or infiltrating cells. Relevant tissues include, without limitation, skeletal tissues such as bone, cartilage, ligaments, fascia, and tendon. Other tissues in which any of the above allografts can be placed include, without limitation, skin, gingiva, dura, myocardium, vascular tissue, neural tissue, striated muscle, smooth muscle, bladder wall, ureter tissue, intestine, and urethra tissue.

Furthermore, an ATM can have been made from one or more individuals of the same species as the recipient of the ATM graft. Alternatively, an ATM can have been made from a porcine tissue and be implanted in a human patient. Species that can serve as recipients of ATM and donors of tissues or organs for the production of the ATM include, without limitation, humans, non-human primates (e.g., monkeys, baboons, or chimpanzees), porcine, bovine, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, rats, or mice. Of particular interest as donors are animals (e.g., pigs) that have been genetically engineered to lack the terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moiety, or alternatively, tissue samples from such animals can be treated with an agent (such as alpha-galactosidase) to remove all, or substantially all, of the terminal galactose-a-α-1-3-galactose moieties from the tissue (see below under “Methods for Making an ATM”). For descriptions of appropriate animals see co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/896,594 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,166,288, the disclosures of all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

The form in which the ATM is provided will depend on the tissue or organ from which it is derived and on the nature of the recipient tissue or organ, as well as the nature of the damage or defect in the recipient tissue or organ. Thus, for example, a matrix derived from a heart valve can be provided as a whole valve, as small sheets or strips, as pieces cut into any of a variety of shapes and/or sizes, or in a particulate form. The same concept applies to ATM produced from any of the above-listed tissues and organs. It is understood that an ATM can be made from a recipients own collagen-based tissue.

One exemplary method for making (or preparing) an ATM can include the steps of: optionally providing a tissue sample from a mammal; removing all, or substantially all, of the cells from the tissue sample resulting in a decellularized tissue; and contacting the decellularized tissue with a DNA nuclease that removes all, or substantially all, of the DNA from the decellularized tissue, thereby resulting in an ATM.

Decellularization of a tissue can be accomplished using a number of chemical or enzymatic treatments known in the art and described in, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,336,616 (the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety). For example, cells can be removed from a tissue by incubating the tissue in a processing solution containing certain salts (e.g., high concentrations of salts), detergents (e.g., mild or strong detergents), enzymes, or combinations of any of the foregoing. Strong detergents include, e.g., ionic detergents such as, but not limited to: sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium deoxycholate, and 3-[(3-chloramidopropyl)-dimethylammino]-1-propane-sulfonate. Mild detergents include, e.g., polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan mono-oleate and polyoxyethylene (80) sorbitan mono-oleate (TWEEN 20 and 80), saponin, digitonin, TRITON X-100™, CHAPS, and NONIDET-40 (NP40). The use of the detergent TRITON X-100™, a trademarked product of Rohm and Haas Company of Philadelphia, PA, has been demonstrated to remove cellular membranes, as detailed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,801,299, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Alternatively, decellularization can be accomplished using a variety of lysogenic enzymes including, but not limited to, dispase II, trypsin, and thermolysin. To minimize any potential adverse proteolytic effects on the extracellular matrix, the concentration, temperature, and the amount of time the enzymatic reaction is allowed to proceed should be carefully monitored. Such optimization of these reactions (e.g., for a particular tissue type) is well within the capability of one of ordinary skill in the art.

Low salt concentrations can also be used to decellularize tissue through osmotic disregulation of the cells contained therein. Alternatively, where the tissue sample is a skin sample, high salt concentrations can be used to separate the epidermis from the dermis of the skin. For example, Livesey et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 5,336,616, supra) describes that incubation of a skin sample in 1 M sodium chloride for approximately 16 hours for human skin and approximately 48 hours for porcine skin will routinely allow clean separation of the epidermis and dermis without damage to the basem*nt membrane complex.

In addition to salts, detergents, and enzymes, the processing solution used to decellularize a tissue can also contain a battery of certain inhibitors (e.g., protease inhibitors) to prevent degradation of the extracellular matrix. The processing solution can also contain one or more protease inhibitors selected from the group consisting of N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride (PMSF) ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), ethylene glycol-bis-(2-aminoethyl(ether)NNN′N′-tetraacetic acid, ammonium chloride, elevated pH, apoprotinin, and leupeptin.

The processing solutions can also contain an appropriate buffer. Suitable buffers include any of a variety of biocompatible buffers such as, but not limited to, 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES), Tris (hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS), (N-[2-hydroxyethyl]piperazine-N′-[2-ethanesulfonic acid] (HEPES), or a buffer containing phosphate, bicarbonate, acetate, citrate, or glutamate with or without glycine, can be useful.

A tissue can be treated with a processing solution containing one or more (e.g., two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or 10 or more) different enzymes, detergents, salts (e.g., high or low concentrations or different salt combinations), or combinations of any of the foregoing. For example, a processing solution can contain a mild detergent and a strong detergent or two mild detergents and an enzyme.

A tissue can be treated once or more than once (e.g., two, three, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or 10 or more times) with a processing solution. A tissue can be treated more than one time with the same processing solution or can be treated with several different processing solutions in series. For example, a tissue can be treated with one processing solution multiple times or the tissue can be treated with a first processing solution and subsequently with a second processing solution.

As the processing solution can contain chemicals or agents that would be irritating or inflammatory when administered to a mammalian subject, washing can be performed to substantially remove the processing solution from the tissue. In some embodiments, a tissue can be washed one or more (e.g., two, three, four, five, six, or more than seven) times following treatment with a processing solution or the tissue can be washed one or more times between processing solution treatments. For example, a tissue can be treated with a first processing solution and then washed three times before treatment with a second processing solution. Alternatively, rather than or in addition to, components of the processing solution may be neutralized by specific inhibitors, e.g., dispase II by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or trypsin by serum.

Methods for determining the extent of decellularization are known in the art and include, e.g., cell-counting/trypan blue exclusion assays (on any cells collected from a treated tissue) or various microscopy methods such as direct immunostaining of a decellularized tissue section using antibodies that bind to specific cell markers (e.g., markers of the cell nucleus, mitochondria, or cell cytoplasm). Such methods are described in, e.g., Ramos-Vara, JA (2005) Vet Pathol 42: 405-426 and Hayat (2002) Microscopy, Immunohistochemistry, and Antigen Retrieval Methods: For Light and Electron Microscopy, 1st Ed. Springer, the disclosures of each of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Following the decellularization process described above, a decellularized tissue matrix can be contacted with one or more solutions containing a DNA nuclease to remove all, or substantially all, of the DNA. The DNA nuclease can be a DNA exonuclease, a DNA endonuclease, or a DNA nuclease that possesses both activities. For example, a solution for removing DNA in a decellularized tissue can include DNase I, Exonuclease III, Mung bean nuclease, or Nuclease BAL 31. Suitable reaction conditions for removing DNA from a tissue include incubating the tissue in a buffered solution containing the DNA nuclease and a divalent cation such as magnesium (or manganese), at a physiologic pH (e.g., 7.5) and temperature (e.g., 37° C.), for about 5 minutes or more (e.g., about 10 minutes, about 20 minutes, about 30 minutes, about 40 minutes, about 50 minutes, about an hour, about 1.5 hours, about 2 hours, about 2.5 hours, about 3 hours, about 3.5 hours, about 4 hours, or about 4.5 hours or more).

A decellularized tissue can be treated with a solution containing one or more (e.g., two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or 10 or more) different DNA nucleases such as any of those described herein or known in the art. For example, a solution can contain a mixture of DNase I, Exonuclease III, and Mung bean nuclease.

A tissue can be treated more than one time with the same DNA nuclease solution or can be treated with several different DNA nuclease solutions. For example, a tissue can be treated with one DNA nuclease solution multiple times or the tissue can be treated with a first DNA nuclease solution and then subsequently with a second DNA nuclease solution.

In some embodiments, a tissue can be washed one or more (e.g., two, three, four, five, six, or more than seven) times following treatment with a DNA nuclease solution or can be washed one or more times between DNA nuclease solution treatments. For example, a tissue can be treated with a first DNA nuclease solution and then washed three times before treatment with a second DNA nuclease solution.

Methods for determining the extent of DNA removal from a decellularized tissue are known in the art and include, e.g., polymerase chain reaction methods (e.g., to amplify a target region of DNA) or direct quantitation of any DNA isolated from the decellularized tissue using spectrophotometry. Such methods are described in detail in, e.g., Sambrook et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, New York (1989, 1992), and in Ausubel et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley and Sons, Baltimore, Maryland (1989), the disclosures of each of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

In some embodiments, the methods can also include obtaining (or harvesting) the tissue from a donor (e.g., a non-human mammal such as a pig or any of the non-human mammalian species described herein). Suitable methods for obtaining a tissue sample from a subject are set forth in the accompanying Examples. Additional methods for obtaining tissue samples are known in the art and described in, e.g., U.S. Publication No. 2006/0073592 and U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,336,616 and 6,933,326, the disclosures of each of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety. For example, donor skin samples can be harvested under aseptic conditions with a dermatome. (See, e.g., Olsson et al. (1997) Acta Derm. Venereol. 77(6):463-6; and Stone (1990) Int. J. Dermatol. 29(3):187-9).

Once obtained, the tissue sample can be placed into an initial stabilizing solution that arrests and prevents osmotic, hypoxic, autolytic, and proteolytic degradation, protects against microbial contamination, and reduces mechanical damage that can occur with tissues that contain, for example, smooth muscle components (e.g., blood vessels). The stabilizing solution can contain an appropriate buffer (e.g., a biocompatible buffer such as any of those described herein), one or more antioxidants, one or more oncotic agents, one or more antibiotics, one or more protease inhibitors, and in some cases, a smooth muscle relaxant. For example, a harvested skin sample can be maintained at, e.g., 4° C. in RPMI 1640 tissue culture media containing penicillin and streptomycin solution for up to seven 7 days prior to further processing (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,933,326).

The tissue sample can be any of those described herein including, e.g., skin, bone, cartilage, meniscus, dermis, myocardium, periosteum, artery, vein, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, diaphragm, tendon, ligament, neural tissue, striated muscle, smooth muscle, bladder, urethra, ureter, and gingiva.

Galactosyl-α(1,3)galactose is a glycosyl modification of cell surface components and some serum proteins in all mammals, except humans and Old World apes. A major obstacle to successful xenotransplantation of porcine and other non-Old World ape vertebrate species organs into humans is the presence of Gal epitopes on the tissues of those organs.

Thus, in some embodiments (e.g., where the input tissue sample is obtained from a nonhuman mammal such as a pig), the methods can also include contacting a tissue or a decellularized tissue with an agent (e.g., alpha-galactosidase or an N-glycanase such as peptide-N-glycosidase) that is capable of removing all, or substantially all, of the terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties from the tissue or decellularized tissue. As used herein, a tissue (e.g., a decellularized tissue or an ATM) lacking “substantially all terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties” is a tissue in which the concentration of terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties is less than 5% (e.g., less than: 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 0.9%, 0.8%, 0.7%, 0.6%, 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.3%, 0.2%, 0.1%; 0.01%; 0.001%; 0.0001%; 0.00001%; or 0.000001%) of that in the tissue prior to treatment with the agent. The decellularized tissue can be contacted with a solution comprising an effective amount of alpha-galactosidase as described in, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,331,319, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety. Methods for determining the amount of terminal galactose-α-1-3-galactose moieties, before and/or after treatment with an agent are known in the art and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,331,319. For example, a tissue can be subjected to immunostaining techniques using an antibody specific for the galactose-α-1-3-galactose epitope (see, e.g., Galili (1993) Immunol. Today 14:480; the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety).

In some embodiments, the methods can further include sterilizing the decellularized tissue. The sterilization methods described herein are generally non-damaging and are capable of: (i) providing a sterilized product (e.g., a sterilized ATM) at a sterility assurance level (SAL) of greater than about 10−6 (e.g., 10−7, 10−8, 10−9, or 10−10 or greater); (ii) achieving a greater than six (e.g., seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, or more than 20) fold reduction in viral load in a product (e.g., a tissue or an ATM described herein); (iii) and substantially maintains the biological and structural functions of the product (e.g., a tissue or an ATM described herein) (described above). It is understood that the sterilization methods can be used to sterilize not only any decellularized tissues made by the methods described herein, but any tissue.

Such sterilization can include the steps of contacting a tissue (such as any decellularized tissue made by a method described herein) with a solution comprising peracetic acid (PAA) and exposing the tissue to low-dose E-beam irradiation.

In some embodiments, the tissue can be contacted with the solution prior to exposure to low-dose E-beam irradiation. In some embodiments, the tissue can be exposed to low-dose E-beam irradiation prior to contact with the solution.

An aqueous solution containing PAA can contain less than about 5% (e.g., 4.9%, 4.8%, 4.7%, 4.6%, 4.5%, 4.4%, 4.3%, 4.2%, 4.1%, 4%, 3.9%, 3.8%, 3.7%, 3.6%, 3.5%, 3.4%, 3.3%, 3.2%, 3.1%, 3%, 2.9%, 2.8%, 2.7%, 2.6%, 2.5%, 2.4%, 2.3%, 2.2%, 2.1%, 2%, 1.9%, 1.8%, 1.7%, 1.6%, 1.5%, 1.4%, 1.3%, 1.2%, 1.1%, 1%, 0.9%, 0.8%, 0.7%, 0.6%, 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.3%, 0.2%, 0.1%, 0.09%, 0.08%, 0.07%, 0.06%, 0.05%, 0.04%, 0.03%, 0.02%, or 0.01%) PA. The solution can contain PAA at about 0.01% to about 2% (e.g., about 0.01% to about 1%, about 0.01% to about 0.5%, about 0.05% to about 1%, about 0.05% to about 2%, about 0.5% to about 0.75%, about 1.0% to about 2.0%, or about 0.05% to about 1.5%). The amount of PAA needed in the solution can vary on, e.g., the type or amount of a microbial contaminant (e.g., an enveloped or non-enveloped virus) present, or suspected of being present, in a tissue sample (e.g., an acellular tissue matrix). In some embodiments, the solution comprising PAA can include additional components. For example, in some embodiments, the solution can include a peroxide. Exemplary solutions comprising PAA that may be used for sterilization of tissue matrices are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,962, which is entitled, “Peracetic Acid Sterilization of Collagen or Collagenous Tissue,” which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

The solution containing PAA can contain a biocompatible buffer such as any biocompatible buffer known in the art or described herein. The buffers can be used to adjust the pH of the PAA solution. For example, a buffer can be used to adjust the pH of a PAA solution to a neutral pH (e.g., a pH of about 6.0 to about 8.0 pH). Exemplary pH ranges for a PAA-containing solution include, e.g., a pH of about 7.0 to about 7.5; a pH of about 4.0 to about 7.5; or a pH of about 6.5 to about 7.5.

The PAA-containing solution can have a high ionic strength, e.g., a high salt concentration. For example, the PAA-containing solution can have a salt concentration from about 500 mM to about 3 M. An exemplary range of salt concentration is about 0.5 M to about 2 M (or about 1 M to about 2 M). Suitable salts for use in the PAA-containing solutions include, but are not limited to, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and the like.

A decellularized tissue can be soaked in or washed with a PAA-containing solution (e.g., one with a neutral pH and a high ionic strength) for a time and under conditions sufficient to achieve sterilization. The amount of time required for treatment of the decellularized tissue with the PAA-containing solution can vary based on, e.g., the size of the tissue, the type of the tissue, and the type and amount of microbial contaminant in, or suspected of being present in, the tissue sample. A decellularized tissue can be contacted with the PAA-containing solution for about 5 minutes to about 30 hours (e.g., about 10 minutes, about 20 minutes, about 30 minutes, about 40 minutes, about 50 minutes, about 1 hour, about 2 hours, about 3 hours, about 4 hours, about 5 hours, about 6 hours, about 7 hours, about 8 hours, about 9 hours, about 10 hours, about 11 hours, about 12 hours, about 15 hours, about 20 hours, about 25 hours, about 28 hours, or about 30 hours). In some embodiments, a tissue sample can be contacted with the PAA-containing solution for more than 30 hours.

In some embodiments, the PAA-containing solution can be washed from the decellularized tissue. For example, following treatment with a PAA-containing solution, a decellularized tissue can be washed once (or more than once) with, e.g., sterile water, saline, buffer, or a storage media to remove the PAA. Alternatively, the decellularized tissue can be placed directly into a sterile storage media or exposed to low dose E-beam irradiation without rinsing.

E-beam radiation is a form of ionizing energy that is generally characterized by its low penetration and high dosage rates. The beam, a concentrated, highly charged stream of electrons, is generated by the acceleration and conversion of electricity. The electrons are generated by equipment referred to as accelerators which are capable of producing beams that are either pulsed or continuous. As the product/material being sterilized passes beneath or in front of the electron beam, energy from the electrons is absorbed. This absorption of energy alters various chemical and biological bonds within the product/material. The energy that is absorbed is referred to as the “absorbed dose.” It is this absorption of energy—or “dose delivery”—that destroys the reproductive cells of microorganisms, e.g., by destroying their DNA chains.

A variety of E-beam irradiators can be used in the methods described herein and are commercially available, e.g., the RHODOTRON TT300 (from IBA, Louvain-la-neuve, France) and the AEB emitter (from AEB, Willington, MA).

A decellularized tissue can be exposed to low-dose E-beam irradiation for a time and in an amount sufficient to achieve sterilization. The dosage of E-beam irradiation required to sterilize a decellularized tissue can vary on, e.g., the size of the tissue, the type of the tissue, and the type an amount of microbial contaminant in, or suspected of being present in, the tissue sample.

A decellularized tissue can be subjected to a one-sided exposure of the electron beam until a sterilizing dose of radiation is absorbed. An “absorbed dose” of radiation is expressed in terms of kilograys (kGy), wherein one kilogray is equal to one thousand joules of energy deposited per kilogram of material. For example, the decellularized tissue can be irradiated until an absorbed dose of about 6 kGy or more (e.g., 7 kGy, 8 kGy, 9 kGy, 10, kGy, 12 kGy, 15 kGy, 20 kGy, 22 kGy, 25 kGy, 27 kGy, or up to 30 kGy) is achieved. In some embodiments, a decellularized tissue can be exposed to E-beam irradiation until an absorbed dosage of about 6 kGy to about 30 kGy (e.g., about 10 kGy to about 15 kGy or about 10 kGy to about 20 kGy) is achieved.

E-beam irradiation of a decellularized tissue can be carried out, e.g., by placing the tissue in a suitable container, e.g., a glass or plastic container, and exposing the tissue to the electrons. For example, the tissue may be placed on a conveyor, which then passes through the electron beam. The time of exposure to the beam can be proportional to the dimensions of the tissue.

Dosage can also be determined with the use of radiochromic dye films. Such films can be calibrated, usually in a gamma field, by reference to a national standard.

It is understood that one of skill in the art can optimize the dosage of E-beam irradiation to maximum sterilization and minimize any structural damage to the acellular tissue. However, any degradation of the tissue by irradiation can be determined using well known and conventional tests and criteria such as, e.g., reduction in shrink temperature; susceptibility to enzymatic attack (e.g., using collagenase); extractability of degradation products (e.g., collagen fragments); and a decrease in physical properties such as tensile strength.

In some embodiments, the methods can also include the step of, following the sterilization step, testing for the presence or amount of one or more microorganisms (e.g., viruses, bacteria, or protozoa) in the decellularized tissue. Methods for determining whether a decellularized tissue contains a microorganism are known in the art and include, e.g., a variety of PCR techniques (e.g., quantitative amplification of specific microbial DNA or RNA markers); enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) using antibodies specific for microbial proteins; plaque-assays; hemagluttination assays; or colony formation tests. Effective sterilization can also be determined using conventional microbiological techniques, such as, for example, the inclusion of suitable biological indicators in a radiation batch or contacting the tissue with a culture medium and incubating the medium to determine sterility of the tissue.

Methods for determining the structural integrity of a tissue such as a decellularized tissue are known in the art and described in the accompanying Examples. For example, the retention of structural integrity of an ATM can be determined by, e.g., histological observation of the matrix structure, collagen denaturation profiling, collagenase susceptibility, and removal of antigenic matrix components. In addition, the mechanical strength of a matrix can be determined, e.g., by measuring the maximum strength, the stiffness, the suture pull-out strength, or the pre-tension strain of the matrix. A collagen denaturation profile of a sterilized ATM can be determined, e.g., by measuring the temperature (Tonset) at which the protein structure of the matrix denatures, wherein the denaturation temperature decreases as a function of the level of damage to a matrix. Such a measurement can be performed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Collagenase susceptibility of a sterilized ATM can be determined by contacting the ATM with collagenase and measuring the amount of time is required to digest the collagen of the matrix (as compared to the amount of time required for a non-sterilized ATM), wherein the amount of time decreases as a function of the level of damage to a matrix.

In some embodiments, the methods can also include the steps of incorporating one or more factors (e.g., growth factors, angiogenic factors, cytokines, hormones, or chemokines) into the decellularized matrices. Factors that can be incorporated into the matrices, include any of a wide range of cell growth factors, angiogenic factors, differentiation factors, cytokines, hormones, and chemokines known in the art. Any combination of two or more of the factors can be administered to a subject by any of the means recited below. Examples of relevant factors include fibroblast growth factors (FGF) (e.g., FGF1-10), epidermal growth factor, keratinocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial cell growth factors (VEGF) (e.g., VEGF A, B, C, D, and E), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), interferons (IFN) (e.g., IFN-α, β, or γ), transforming growth factors (TGF) (e.g., TGF α or β); tumor necrosis factor-«, an interleukin (IL) (e.g., IL-1-IL-18), Osterix, Hedgehogs (e.g., sonic or desert), SOX9, bone morphogenic proteins, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin prostaglandins, or ascorbic acid.

In some embodiments, the methods described herein can also include, prior to decellularizing the tissue, optionally slicing tissue in the horizontal plane to generate multiple sheets; removing the epithelial basem*nt membrane.

An ATM can be preserved using any of a variety of treatment modalities, depending on, e.g., the desired use for the ATM (e.g., in particulate or sheet form), the amount of time the ATMs need to be stored, and type of tissue from which the ATMs are derived. For example, an ATM can be treated with a cryopreservation agent and cryopreserved and, optionally, freeze dried, under conditions necessary to maintain the described biological and structural properties of the matrix. If the tissue is to be frozen and freeze dried, following incubation in the cryopreservation solution, the ATM can be packaged inside a sterile vessel that is permeable to water vapor yet impermeable to bacteria, e.g., a water vapor permeable pouch or glass vial. One side of a preferred pouch can consist of medical grade porous TYVEK® membrane, a trademarked product of DuPont Company of Wilmington, DE. This membrane is porous to water vapor and impervious to bacteria and dust. The TYVEK® membrane is heat sealed to a impermeable polythylene laminate sheet, leaving one side open, thus forming a two-sided pouch. The open pouch can be (optionally) sterilized prior to use (e.g., using gamma-irradiation or E-beam irradiation as described above). The vessel containing the tissue is cooled to a low temperature at a specified rate which is compatible with the specific cryoprotectant formulation to minimize freezing damage. (See U.S. Pat. No. 5,336,616 for examples of appropriate cooling protocols). The tissue can then be dried at a low temperature under vacuum conditions, such that water vapor is removed sequentially from each ice crystal phase.

At the completion of the drying of the samples in the water vapor permeable vessel, the vacuum of the freeze drying apparatus is reversed with a dry inert gas such as nitrogen, helium or argon. While being maintained in the same gaseous environment, the semipermeable vessel is placed inside an impervious (i.e., impermeable to water vapor as well as microorganisms) vessel (e.g., a pouch), which is further sealed, e.g., by heat and/or pressure. Where the tissue sample was frozen and dried in a glass vial, the vial is sealed under vacuum with an appropriate inert stopper and the vacuum of the drying apparatus reversed with an inert gas prior to unloading. In either case, the final product is hermetically sealed in an inert gaseous atmosphere.

After freeze drying, the matrix can be pulverized or micronized to produce a particulate acellular tissue matrix under similar function-preserving conditions.

Particulate ATM can be made from any of the above described non-particulate ATMs by any process that results in the preservation of the biological and structural functions described above and, in particular, damage to collagen fibers, including sheared fiber ends, should be minimized. Many known wetting and drying processes for making particulate ATM do not so preserve the structural integrity of collagen fibers.

One appropriate method for making particulate ATM is described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/762,174. The process is briefly described below with respect to a freeze dried dermal ATM but one of skill in the art could readily adapt the method for use with freeze dried ATM derived from any of the other tissues listed herein.

The ATM can be cut into strips (using, for example, a Zimmer mesher fitted with a non-interrupting “continuous” cutting wheel). The resulting long strips are then cut into lengths of about 1 cm to about 2 cm. A hom*ogenizer and sterilized hom*ogenizer probe (e.g., a LABTEK MACRO hom*ogenizer available from OMNI International, Warrenton, Va.) is assembled and cooled to cryogenic temperatures (i.e., about ≤196° ° C. to about −160° C.) using sterile liquid nitrogen which is poured into the hom*ogenizer tower. Once the hom*ogenizer has reached a cryogenic temperature, cut pieces of ATM are added to the hom*ogenizing tower containing the liquid nitrogen. The hom*ogenizer is then activated so as to cryogenically fracture the pieces of ATM. The time and duration of the cryogenic fracturing step will depend upon the hom*ogenizer utilized, the size of the hom*ogenizing chamber, and the speed and time at which the hom*ogenizer is operated, and are readily determinable by one skilled in the art. As an alternative, the cryofracturing process can be conducted in a cryomill cooled to a cryogenic temperature.

The cryofractured particulate acellular tissue matrix is, optionally, sorted by particle size by washing the product of the hom*ogenization with sterile liquid nitrogen through a series of metal screens that have also been cooled to a cryogenic temperature. It is generally useful to eliminate large undesired particles with a screen with a relatively large pore size before proceeding to one (or more screens) with a smaller pore size. Once isolated, the particles can be freeze dried to ensure that any residual moisture that may have been absorbed during the procedure is removed. The final product is a powder (usually white or off-white) generally having a particle size of about 1 micron to about 900 microns, about 30 microns to about 750 microns, or about 150 to about 300 microns. The material is readily rehydrated by suspension in normal saline or any other suitable rehydrating agent known in the art. It may also be suspended in any suitable carrier known in the art (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,284,655 incorporated herein by reference in its entirety). If suspended at a high concentration (e.g., at about 600 mg/ml), the particulate ATM can form a “putty,” and if suspended at a somewhat lower concentration (e.g., about 330 mg/ml), it can form a “paste.” Such putties and pastes can conveniently be packed into, for example, holes, gaps, or spaces of any shape in tissues and organs so as to substantially fill such holes, gaps, or spaces.

Alternatively, the ATM can be preserved by replacing most of the water in the tissue with a water-replacing agent such as glycerol such that the acellular tissue matrix contains, for example, up to approximately 85% by weight glycerol. One exemplary method for storing the ATMs using water-replacing agents is described in co-pending U.S. Patent Publication No. 2006/0073592, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The ATMs can be stored in this form for an extended period at less than 20° C. All steps are generally carried out under aseptic, preferably sterile, conditions.

In some embodiments, the ATM can be preserved in a ready-to-use preservation solution described herein (see, e.g., “Solutions”).

Following the preparations described above, an ATM is in principle ready for implantation and, in some cases, only need be processed into a desired shape or size. The ATMs can be prepared in a variety of forms including those selected from the group consisting of liquid, colloid, semi-solid, solid, particulate, gel, paste, and combinations of any of the foregoing as described above.

The disclosure also features articles of manufacture comprising a container and a composition contained within the container. The composition contains an active agent for treating an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration in mammal and the active agent in the composition comprises an acellular tissue matrix made by any of the methods described herein. The container has a label indicating that the composition is for use in treating an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration in mammal. The label can further indicate that the composition is to be administered to the mammal if the mammal is identified as having an organ or tissue in need of repair or amelioration. The types of organs and/or tissues that can be treated with a composition comprising an ATM are described above.

In some embodiments, the article can also include instructions for administering the active agent to the mammal. The instructions can feature any of the methods described above under the section titled “Methods for Using an ATM.”

The ATM contained in the composition can be in a variety of forms such as, but not limited to, a liquid, colloid, semi-solid, solid, particulate, gel, paste, or combinations of any of the foregoing.

The form of ATM used in any particular instance will depend on the tissue or organ to which it is to be applied. Sheets of ATM (optionally cut to an appropriate size) can be, for example: (a) wrapped around a tissue or organ that is damaged or that contains a defect; (b) placed on the surface of a tissue or organ that is damaged or has a defect; or (c) rolled up and inserted into a cavity, gap, or space in the tissue or organ. Such cavities, gaps, or spaces can be, for example: (i) of traumatic origin, (ii) due to removal of diseased tissue (e.g., infarcted myocardial tissue), or (iii) due to removal of malignant or non-malignant tumors. The ATM can be used to augment or ameliorate underdeveloped tissues or organs or to augment or reconfigure deformed tissues or organs. One or more (e.g., one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25, 30, or more) such strips can be used at any particular site. The grafts can be held in place by, for example, sutures, staples, tacks, or tissue glues or sealants known in the art. Alternatively, if, for example, packed sufficiently tightly into a defect or cavity, they may need no securing device. Particulate ATM can be suspended in a sterile pharmaceutically acceptable carrier (e.g., normal saline) and injected via hypodermic needle into a site of interest. Alternatively, the dry powdered matrix or a suspension can be sprayed onto into or onto a site or interest. A suspension can be also be poured into or onto particular site. In addition, by mixing the particulate ATM with a relatively small amount of liquid carrier, a “putty” can be made. Such a putty, or even dry particulate ATM, can be layered, packed, or encased in any of the gaps, cavities, or spaces in organs or tissues mentioned above. Moreover, a non-particulate ATM can be used in combination with particulate ATM. For example, a cavity in bone could be packed with a putty (as described above) and covered with a sheet of ATM.

It is understood that an ATM can be applied to a tissue or organ in order to repair or regenerate that tissue or organ and/or a neighboring tissue or organ. Thus, for example, a strip of ATM can be wrapped around a critical gap defect of a long bone to generate a perisoteum equivalent surrounding the gap defect and the periosteum equivalent can in turn stimulate the production of bone within the gap in the bone. Similarly, by implanting an ATM in an dental extraction socket, injured gum tissue can be repaired and/or replaced and the “new” gum tissue can assist in the repair and/or regeneration of any bone in the base of the socket that may have been lost as a result, for example, of tooth extraction. In regard to gum tissue (gingiva), receding gums can also be replaced by injection of a suspension, or by packing of a putty of particulate ATM into the appropriate gum tissue. Again, in addition to repairing the gingival tissue, this treatment can result in regeneration of bone lost as a result of periodontal disease and/or tooth extraction. Compositions used to treat any of the above gingival defects can contain one or more other components listed herein, e.g., demineralized bone powder, growth factors, or stem cells.

Both non-particulate and particulate ATM can be used in combination with other scaffold or physical support components. For example, one or more sheets of ATM can be layered with one or more sheets made from a biological material other than ATM, e.g., irradiated cartilage supplied by a tissue bank such as LifeNet, Virginia Beach, Va., or bone wedges and shapes supplied by, for example, the Osteotech Corporation, Edentown, N.J. Alternatively, such non-ATM sheets can be made from synthetic materials, e.g., polyglycolic acid or hydrogels such as that supplied by Biocure, Inc., Atlanta, Ga. Other suitable scaffold or physical support materials are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,885,829. It is understood that such additional scaffold or physical support components can be in any convenient size or shape, e.g., sheets, cubes, rectangles, discs, spheres, or particles (as described above for particulate ATM).

Active substances that can be mixed with particulate ATM or impregnated into non-particulate ATM include bone powder, demineralized bone powder, and any of those disclosed above (as described above under “Methods of Making and Using ATMs”).

Factors that can be administered to the placement site of an ATM graft, or administered systemically include any of a wide range of cell growth factors, angiogenic factors, differentiation factors, cytokines, hormones, and chemokines known in the art and set forth above. Any combination of two or more of the factors can be administered to a subject by any of the means recited below. Factors that are proteins can also be delivered to a recipient subject by administering to the subject: (a) expression vectors (e.g., plasmids or viral vectors) containing nucleic acid sequences encoding any one or more of the above factors that are proteins; or (b) cells that have been transfected or transduced (stably or transiently) with such expression vectors. In the expression vectors coding sequences are operably linked to one or more transcription regulatory elements (TRE). Cells used for transfection or transducion are preferably derived from, or histocompatible with, the recipient. However, it is possible that only short exposure to the factor is required and thus histo-incompatible cells can also be used. The cells can be incorporated into the ATM (particulate or non-particulate) prior to the matrices being placed in the subject. Alternatively, they can be injected into an ATM already in place in a subject, into a region close to an ATM already in place in a subject, or systemically.

Naturally, administration of the ATM and/or any of the other substances or factors mentioned above can be single, or multiple (e.g., two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 80, 90, 100, or as many as needed). Where multiple, the administrations can be at time intervals readily determinable by one skilled in art. Doses of the various substances and factors will vary greatly according to the species, age, weight, size, and sex of the subject and are also readily determinable by a skilled artisan.

Conditions for which the matrices can be used are multiple. Thus, for example, they can be used for the repair of bones and/or cartilage with any of the above-described damage or defects. Both particulate and non-particulate ATM can be used in any of the forms and by any of the processes listed above. Bones to which such methods of treatment can be applied include, without limitation, long bones (e.g., tibia, femur, humerus, radius, ulna, or fibula), bones of the hand and foot (e.g., calcaneas bone or scaphoid bone), bones of the head and neck (e.g., temporal bone, parietal bone, frontal bone, maxilla, mandible), or vertebrae. As mentioned above, critical gap defects of bone can be treated with ATM. In such critical gap defects, the gaps can be filled with, for example, a putty of particulate ATM or packed sheets of ATM and wrapped with sheets of ATM. Alternatively, the gaps can be wrapped with a sheet of ATM and filled with other materials (see below). In all these bone and/or cartilage treatments, additional materials can be used to further assist in the repair process. For example, the gap can be filled cancellous bone and or calcium sulfate pellets and particulate ATM can be delivered to sites of bone damage or bone defects mixed with demineralized bone powder. In addition, ATM can be combined with bone marrow and/or bone chips from the recipient.

ATM can also be used to repair fascia, e.g., abdominal wall fascia or pelvic floor fascia. In such methods, strips of ATM are generally attached to the abdominal or pelvic floor by, for example, suturing either to the surrounding fascia or host tissue or to stable ligaments or tendons such as Cooper's ligament.

Infarcted myocardium is another candidate for remodeling repair by ATM. Contrary to prior dogma, it is now known that not all cardiac myocytes have lost proliferative and thus regenerative potential (see, e.g., Beltrami et al. (2001) New. Engl. J. Med. 344:1750-1757; Kajstura et al. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:8801-8805). Moreover, stem cells, present for example in bone marrow and blood and as pericytes associated with blood vessels, can differentiate to cardiac myocytes. Either the infarcted tissue itself can be removed and replaced with a sheet of ATM cut to an appropriate size or a suspension of particulate ATM can be injected into the infarcted tissue. Congenital heart hypoplasia, or other structural defects, can be repaired by, for example, making an incision in the tissue, expanding the gap created by the incision, and inserting a sheet of ATM cut to the desired size, or placing sheets of ATM on the epicardial and endocardial surfaces and placing particulate ATM between them. It is understood that, in certain conditions, creating a gap by incision may not be sufficient and it may be necessary to excise some tissue. Naturally, one of skill in the art will appreciate that the ATM can be used similarly to repair damage to, or defects in, other types of muscle, e.g., ureter or bladder or skeletal muscle such as biceps, pectoralis, or latissimus.

Moreover, sheets of ATM can be used to repair or replace damaged or removed intestinal tissue, including the esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. In this case, the sheets of ATM can be used to repair perforations or holes in the intestine. Alternatively, a sheet of ATM can be formed, for example, into a cylinder which can be used to fill a gap in the intestine (e.g., a gap created by surgery to remove a tumor or a diseased segment of intestine). Such methods can be used to treat, for example, diaphragmatic hernias. It will be understood that an ATM in sheet form can also be used to repair the diaphragm itself in this condition as well as in other conditions of the diaphragm requiring repair or replacement, or addition of tissue.

The disclosure also features Ready-To-Use (RTU) sterile solutions for use in storage (or preservation of) a tissue or an ATM (e.g., an ATM made by the methods described herein). As used herein, the term “RTU solutions” and the term “RTU” in the context of a solution are each used interchangeably with the term “preservation solution.” Such solutions allow for an ATM to: (i) be delivered to a medical practitioner (e.g., a doctor) in a fully hydrated state; (ii) be ready for use upon opening of a sterile package containing the ATM; and (iii) be stored for up to 2 years (e.g., 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1.5 years, or up to 2 years) when maintained at about 2° C. to about 8° C. or for up to 1 year (e.g., 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, 8 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11 months, or up to 1 year) at room temperature. The solutions can also inhibit one or more of the following phenomena: (i) microbial growth; (ii) hydrolysis of an ATM; (iii) oxidation and/or discoloration of an ATM; (iv) Maillard reactions within the ATM; (v) residual, detrimental enzymatic activities present in the ATM (e.g., matrix metalloproteinases). Additional properties of the solutions are set forth in the accompanying Examples.

The solutions can contain the following components: a biocompatible buffer; a salt; a surfactant; one or more reducing agents, transition metal chelators, and free-radical scavengers; a tissue stabilizer (and/or a microbial stasis agent); and one or more biocompatible co-solutes. The solution can have a pH of between about 5.2 to about 6.9 (e.g., a pH of about 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, or 6.9). The solution can also have a water activity of between about 0.930 to about 0.995 (e.g., about 0.931, 0.932, 0.933, 0.934, 0.935, 0.936, 0.937, 0.938, 0.939, 0.941, 0.942, 0.943, 0.944, 0.945, 0.946, 0.947, 0.948, 0.949, 0.950, 0.951, 0.952, 0.953, 0.954, 0.955, 0.956, 0.957, 0.958, 0.959, 0.960, 0.961, 0.962, 0.963, 0.964, 0.965, 0.966, 0.967, 0.968, 0.969, 0.970, 0.971, 0.972, 0.973, 0.974, 0.975, 0.976, 0.977, 0.978, 0.979, 0.980, 0.991, 0.992, 0.993, 0.994, or 0.995).

As used herein, the “water activity” (aw) of a solution is a measurement of the energy status of the water in a solution, which is defined as the equilibrium vapor pressure of water in the solution divided by that of pure water at the same temperature. Thus, pure distilled water has a water activity of exactly one.

The biocompatible buffer can be, e.g., a citrate buffer, a phosphate buffer, an acetate buffer; HEPES buffer, MOPS buffer, Tris buffer, a combination of a citrate buffer and a phosphate buffer (citrate/phosphate buffer), or any other biocompatible buffers known in the art or described herein. The buffer can be at a concentration of up to 150 (e.g., e.g., 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, or up to 150) mM in the solution. In embodiments where a phosphate containing buffer is selected, the solution can also contain any of a variety of polymeric hydroxyl compounds (e.g., stabilizing polyols), which can prevent salt crystallization upon freezing of the buffers.

The salt can be, e.g., a sodium salt such as sodium chloride (e.g., fluoride, sulfate, or phosphate). In some embodiments, the salt is not a potassium or a calcium salt. The salt can be at a concentration of up to about 150 (e.g., 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, or 150) mM in the solution.

The surfactant can be, e.g., an ionic (e.g., anionic, cationic, or Zwitterionic) or non-ionic surfactant. For example, ionic surfactant include, e.g., SDS, ammonium laurel sulfate, alkyl benzene sulfonate, soaps, fatty acids, cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), benzalkonium chloride (BAC), benzethonium chloride (BZT), dodecyl betaine, dodecyl dimethylamine oxide, docamidopropyl betaine, and coco ampho glycinate. Non-ionic surfactants include, but are not limited to, TWEEN 20, TWEEN 80, alkyl poly(ethylene oxide), copolymers of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide), octyl glucoside, decyl maltoside, cetyl alcohol, oleyl alcohol, cocamide MEA, cocamide DEA, and cocamide TEA. The surfactant can be in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) or less (e.g., 0.19%, 0.18%, 0.17%, 0.16%, 0.15%, 0.14%. 0.13%, 0.12%, 0.11%, 0.10%, 0.09%, 0.08%, 0.07%, 0.06%, 0.05%, 0.04%, 0.03%, 0.02%, 0.01%, 0.009%, 0.005%, or 0.001% or lower) of the solution.

Metal chelating agents that can be used in the solutions described herein include, e.g., EDTA, EGTA, DMPS, DMSA, and DTPA. The metal chelating agent can be present at a concentration of between about 1 mM to about 50 mM (e.g., about 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 25, 27, 30, 32, 35, 37, 40, 42, 45, 47, or 50 mM) in the solution.

Suitable tissue stabilizers for use in the solutions described herein include, e.g., glycerol, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), sodium glycerophosphate and any of a wide range of polyhydroxyl compounds (also sometimes called polyhydroxy or polyol compounds) such as poly-glycerol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), polyvinyl alcohols, or combinations of any of the foregoing. The tissue stabilizer can in an amount of about 10% or less (e.g., 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3,%, 2%, or 1% or less) of the solution or it can be at a concentration of about 500 mM or less (e.g., 450 mM, 400 mM, 350 mM, 300 mM, 250 mM, 200 mM, 150 mM, 100 mM, 50 mM, 25 mM, or 10 mM or less) in the solution.

Biocompatible co-solutes can include, but are not limited to, sugars or sugar alcohols such as trehalose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol, arabitol, isomalt, maltitol, lactitol, or combinations of any of the foregoing. A biocompatible co-solute can be present in an amount of up to about 20% (w/v) or less (e.g., 19%, 18%, 17%, 16%, 15%, 14%, 13,%, 12%, or 11% 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3,%, 2%, or 1% or less) of the solution (or up to a concentration of 1 (e.g., 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, or up to 1) M in the solution).

In some embodiments, the solution can have a pH of about 5.4 to about 6.0 (e.g., a pH of about 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, or 6.0). In some embodiments, the solution can have a water activity of about 0.95 to about 0.97 (e.g., about 0.951, 0.952, 0.953, 0.954, 0.956, 0.957, 0.958, 0.959, 0.960, 0.961, 0.962, 0.963, 0.964, 0.966, 0.967, 0.968, 0.969, or 0.970).

Exemplary solutions are as follows:

    • (i) a solution comprising: citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; and glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution, and having a pH of about 5.4;
    • (ii) a solution comprising: citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution; and trehalose at a concentration of about 500 mM, and having a pH of about 5.4;
    • (iii) a solution comprising: citrate at a concentration of about 20 mM; sodium chloride at a concentration of about 100 mM in the solution; TWEEN 20 in an amount of about 0.2% (w/v) of the solution; EDTA at a concentration of about 2 mM; glycerol in an amount of about 10% (w/v) of the solution; trehalose at a concentration of about 200 mM; and mannitol at a concentration of about 200 mM; and having a pH of about 6.4;
    • (iv) a solution comprising: 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM sodium citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mMNa2HPO4;
    • (v) a solution comprising: 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM sodium citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 100 mM trehalose (dihydrate), 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mMNa2HPO4; and
    • (vi) a solution comprising: 4.0 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium citrate, 5 mM sodium EDTA, 80 mM NaCl, 15% (w/v) glycerol, and 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20; and one of the following: (a) 300 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol; (b) 100 mM trehalose and 100 mM mannitol; (c) 100 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol; or (d) 300 mM trehalose and 100 mM mannitol.

Methods for determining the pH and water activity of a solution, as well as any of the above-described properties of the solutions are known in the art and are set forth in the accompanying Examples. For example, the antibacterial property of a solution described herein can be measured by inoculating a sample of the buffer any of a variety of microorganisms (such as, e.g., E. coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Candida albicans ATCC 10231, and Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404) and culturing the inoculated samples for varying amounts of time at storage temperatures (e.g., at 2° ° C. to 8° C.). The amount of a microorganism remaining in the sample at a given time point can be assessed as the number of colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/ml) present in each solution preparation.

Suitable methods for preserving ATMs using the solutions are described above and set forth in the accompanying Examples. For example, a ATM can be incubated in a solution at a ratio of 2 ml solution per gram (g) of the ATM for about 48 (e.g., about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, 32, 35, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, or 48) hours.

Also featured are kits containing any of the solutions described above and, optionally, instructions for preserving a tissue. Alternatively, the kits can contain one or more individual dried components (or, e.g., a single package containing all of the dried components) for making one of the solutions described above. The kits can also include a sterile, pharmaceutically acceptable diluent for hydrating the dried components of the buffer. The kits can also include one or more vessels for storing an ATM contacted with the solutions, or for storing the solutions prior to use.

Adhesive Compositions and Methods for Removing Hair or Bristle from a Mammalian Hide

The disclosure also features an adhesive composition for removing hair or bristle from a mammalian hide, the adhesive comprising a wax portion and a resin portion, wherein the adhesive has a number of physical and chemical properties such as, e.g.: (i) a wax portion of about 15% to about 20% by weight in the adhesive is capable of changing state at a much lower temperature (e.g., about 42° C.) than the resin portion alone (about 85° C.), which allows the adhesive to set up quickly yet exhibits poor conduction heat transfer characteristics; (ii) the adhesive property allows for a strengthened grip upon the individual bristles when encased in a solid plastic sheet of the hardened adhesive; (iii) the composition is extremely hydroscopic and thus any moisture latent in the bristle is absorbed by the adhesive; (iv) deposition of an insulating film of water-soluble wax upon the room temperature dermis is automatic and allows for filling of follicle holes with wax where bristles have been removed in previous passes; (v) the adhesive is flexible enough to bend during the removal phase without cracking, resulting in a consistent peeling profile to remove the bristle from the hide on a continuous sheet of cooled adhesive; (vi) the adhesive is compatible with a thick polypropylene mesh (e.g., TENAX Brand ¾″ hex (Tenax, Baltimore, MD)), which allows for augmentation for a first “pull” of bristle from the hide; (vii) the individual components of the adhesive are suitable for use with tissues intended for transplantation surgery; and (viii) the adhesive allows for a thorough method of bristle or hair removal without substantial damage to the dermal layer of the hide.

In some embodiments, the adhesive composition can contain, e.g., a mixture of a wax (e.g, a polyethylene glycol (PEG)) and a resin (e.g., a polyamide resin).

The wax component of the adhesive can be a PEG, which can have an average molecular weight of about 600 daltons to about 3000 daltons. For example, a PEG can have an average molecular weight of about 600 daltons, about 800 daltons, about 1450 daltons, about 1500 daltons, about 2000 daltons, about 3000 daltons, or mixtures of any of the foregoing. One exemplary PEG useful in the adhesive solutions is a commercially available PEG, CARBOWAX SENTRY 1450, which is manufactured by the Dow Company.

In some embodiments, the resin is a polyamide resin comprising fatty polyamides made by the condensation of functional amines and polybasic acids that can be, in turn, obtained from unsaturated vegetable or tree or other plant oil acids or esters. Methods for making such polyamide resins are known in the art and described in, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 7,259,196, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety. In some embodiments, the resin of the adhesive composition can be a vegetable-oil based nylon such as MACROMELT 6071 (Henkel Adhesives Co.).

In some embodiments, the resin in the adhesive can be selected based on its Vicat softening point to molecular weight ratio. As used herein, the “Vicat softening point” (also known as Vicat Hardness) is the determination of the softening point for materials such as polyethylene, which have no definite melting point. It is taken as the temperature at which the specimen can be penetrated to a depth of 1 mm by a flat-ended needle with a 1 square mm circular or square cross-section. An exemplary Vicat softening point is that of Macromelt 6071.

In some embodiments, an adhesive composition can contain about 15% to about 20% of a PEG and about 80% to about 85% of a vegetable oil-based nylon. In some embodiments, an adhesive composition can contain about 20% of a PEG and about 80% of a vegetable oil-based nylon. For example, an adhesive composition can contain about 20% of CARBOWAX SENTRY 1450 and about 80% of MACROMELT 6071.

The adhesive compositions described above can be used in methods for removing hair and/or bristle from a hide from a mammal. Such methods can include the steps of: providing a mammalian hide comprising a dermal portion and a surface with hair or bristle, wherein the hide is oriented such that surface with the hair or bristle is downward; contacting the surface with a molten adhesive composition (such as any of the adhesive compositions described above); rapidly cooling the molten adhesive composition; rotating the dermal portion of the hide over a small radius roller, wherein the cooled adhesive layer is oriented to remain in a straight path; and aligning the tangent surface of the opposite rotation of a body (e.g., a claw roller) to intersect with the apex of the rotating path of the hide, wherein the advancing edge of the cooled adhesive can be rapidly pried away from the hide to thereby remove the hair or bristle from the surface of the hide. The adhesive can be applied at a thickness of about 1 mm to about 3 mm (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, or 3 mm).

Any body that imparts a repeated linear or rotational impact of sufficient force to break an entire section of adhesive from the hide would suffice in the method described above. For example, the body can be a claw roller. The moment of inertia required (which is obtained by rotating the hide over the small radius roller) could vary as a function of the dimension of that section and the bristle density. In some embodiments, the body applies an energy of about 150 to about 500 (e.g., about 160, 170, 180, 190, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 300, 310, 320, 330, 340, 350, 360, 370, 380, 390, 400, 410, 420, 430, 440, 450, 460, 470, 480, 490, or 500) Joules per impact upon each square meter of material to be removed.

The method can also include the step of, after the rapid cooling, introducing into the hide perforations that allow for removal of the cooled adhesive from the hide in discrete sections. The perforations can be introduced manually using a knife, scalpel, or other appropriate cutting tool, or perforations can be introduced into the adhesive using a machine or machine part such as a die. The perforations can also be in the hide.

In some embodiments, the methods can include the step of, after debristling the hide, washing the hide. The hide can be washed with any of a variety of suitable reagents including, e.g., aqueous solutions containing biocompatible buffers (e.g., phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)) such as any of those known in the art or described above.

The hide can be from any mammal. For example, the hide can be a human hide or a hide from a non-human mammal such as a pig, a horse, a cow, or any other of the non-human mammals recited herein.

In some embodiments, the methods can further include a step of determining the pliability of the debristled hide (hereinafter referred to as a “bald hide”). The determining can include subjecting the bald hide to a fold test, wherein the edge of the bald hide is gently folded over itself and wherein a fold of about 160° or more (e.g., 165°, 170°, 175°, 180°, 185°, or 190° or more) indicates a first level of pliability of the bald hide and a fold of less than about 160° (e.g., 155°, 150°, 145°, 140°, 135°, 130°, 125°, 120°, 115°, 110°, 105°, or 100° or even less) indicates a second level of pliability of the bald hide.

Bald hide of the first level of pliability can be used, e.g., for treatment of damaged firm tissues such as, but not limited to bone, cartilage, fascia, or tendon. Bald hide determined to have the second level of pliability can be used, e.g., in the treatment of damaged soft tissues such as, e.g., an organ (e.g., heart) or synovial tissue.

Any of the methods described above can be performed manually or, optionally, performed in formats that allow for rapid preparation, processing, and analysis of multiple samples (e.g., using an appropriate machine or series of machines). Solutions (e.g., preservation solutions) and compositions (e.g., adhesive compositions) can be provided manually or robotically, and subsequent diluting, mixing, distribution, washing, incubating, and data collection and/or analysis (e.g., DSC) can be done robotically using commercially available analysis software, robotics, and detection instrumentation.

The following examples serve to illustrate, not limit, the invention.

LifeCell's regenerative tissue matrix (RTM) is a non cross-linked acellular tissue matrix (ATM). As used herein, the term “RTM” is used interchangeably with “ATM.” Thus, in order to preserve a non cross-linked ATM's structural integrity and functionality of crucial biochemical components (e.g., collagens, elastin, and proteoglycans), an aqueous preservation formulation must be able to address all of the following major issues:

    • 1) Microbial growth;
    • 2)Hydrolysis—Hydrolytic breakdown is a spontaneous process in aqueous solution;
    • 3)Lipid oxidation—the lipid content of the ATMs is still very high after processing and varies greatly from donor to donor. Lipid peroxides, by-products of lipid oxidation, are very reactive and can significantly reduce the product shelf life;
    • 4) Maillard reactions—When coupled with lipid oxidation, the ATM's functionality may be compromised; and
    • 5) Enzyme activity—matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), e.g., may still be present in trace amounts after processing the ATM.

In view of the foregoing, ready-to-use ATM preservation solutions were developed using three rational formulation principles:

    • 1)selection of a proper buffer system to increase the stability of ATM proteins;
    • 2)application of hurdle technologies (e.g., microbial stasis agent, free radical scavengers); and
    • 3)incorporation of specific and non-specific compatible co-solvents (e.g., stabilizers).

A suitable buffer for ATM preservation must first be non-toxic and ideally have maximum buffer capacity at a pH where ATM proteins exhibit optimal stability. The buffer agent should be stable and should not absorb either in the visible or in the ultraviolet (UV) region. Photon absorption by buffer agents in the visible and UV region causes photosensitizing reactions. A number of biocompatible buffers will meet these requirements including, e.g., acetate buffers (pH from 3.6 to 5.8), citrate/phosphate buffers (pH from 2.6 to 7.0), phosphate buffers (pH from 5.8 to 8.0), and citrate buffers (pH from 3.0 to 6.0).

A suitable buffer should be one that exhibits little or no change in pH with temperature, especially when the tissue in solution is frozen (e.g., when cold gamma irradiation or E-beam is required for terminal sterilization). In addition to the pH effect, the extent to which proteins may be stabilized or destabilized by a buffer also depends on other factors. For example, the conformation of collagen molecules is known to be protonation-dependent. The unfolding of such proteins is linked to the protonation of a solvent-exposed amino acid residue, and as a result, the stability of proteins is inversely correlated with the buffer's ionization enthalpy. The citrate buffer has one of the lowest ionization enthalpies (−11 KJ/mol) among many biological buffers including phosphate (−1 KJ/mol), HEPES (+3 KJ/mol) and MOPS (+23 KJ/mol). The buffer/metal complexation alters protein conformation if the metal ion acts as a catalyst in redox reactions or it changes the free energy of protein denaturation. The citrate buffer improves the effectiveness of antioxidants. Citric acid and its salts are also powerful calcium chelators, and therefore, are expected to inactivate some MMPs if such MMPs are still present in the ATM after tissue processing.

To formulate a proper ATM preservation solution, a number of different buffers were screened over a range of pH values. In earlier experiments, four buffers (acetate, phosphate, citrate, and citrate/phosphate) were used in ATM storage studies. The pH varied from 4.0 to 7.4. An accelerated storage experiment at 37° C. showed that lipid oxidation (browning) in ATM increased with pH.

Slightly acidic conditions (pH ˜5.0 to 6.0) were believed to provide greater stability of collagen-based ATM. Type I collagen has three alpha chains: 2 alpha 1 chains and 1 alpha 2 chain. The isoelectric point (pI) of the type I alpha 1 chain is ˜5.66 and the pI of the type I alpha 2 chain is ˜9.08. The difference between pI and the storage pH influences the net charge on proteins. The greater the difference is, the more net charges collagen molecules have. The ability of ionic compounds to stabilize collagen by binding to specific amino acid residues increases with the difference between pI and pH. But, if the pH is too low, collagen molecules can swell and become less stable at ambient temperatures for long-term storage. The ability of certain ionic compounds to destabilize collagen also increases with the difference between pI and pH. The considerations described above led to the selection of two testing buffers:

    • (a) 20 mM citrate buffer, pH ˜5.4; and
    • (b) 4 mM citrate and 26 mM phosphate buffer, pH ˜6.4.

MicroDSC is commonly used to screen different pH and buffers for liquid protein formulation (including acid-soluble small collagen molecules). The pH condition that results in the highest Tm of proteins typically maintains the protein in its native state for the longest time at lower temperatures as well. Using DSC, the effect of pH on ATM stability was investigated. These experiments demonstrated that the collagen of decellularized human ATM is most stable at pH from 7.0 to 8.0, and the stability decreases significantly at pH<5.0.

A slightly acidic pH range (5.0 to 6.5) represents a compromise for maintaining collagen stability and inhibiting lipid oxidation and ATM browning.

Initially, the selection of stabilizers for the ready-to-use ATM formulation was based on two primary considerations and one secondary consideration. Two primary considerations were (a) to apply hurdles to prevent or retard undesirable events that could occur during ATM storage (e.g., microbial growth, lipid oxidation, etc) and (b) to preserve both various ATM proteins and their supramolecular assembly (i.e., matrix physical structure). The strategy that was used to preserve ATM proteins and their supramolecular assembly was a “molecular coating” mechanism, i.e., the incorporation of specific and non-specific compatible co-solvents (stabilizers) into the formulation so that the preferential exclusion of such co-solvents from the protein hydration shell could lead to the preferential hydration (and thus stabilization) of proteins that were surrounded with a co-solvent layer of increased density relative to the bulk solution concentration. Several molecular simulation studies reported this unique property of trehalose in aqueous protein solutions (FIG. 1).

FIG. 1 shows the radial distribution functions [g(r)] for water oxygen moieties (a and b) or trehalose oxygen moieties (c) around the geometric center of the protein (in an ATM) in the absence (a) or in the presence (b and c) of 0.5 M trehalose, as described by Lins R. D. et al. “Trehalose—Protein Interaction in Aqueous Solution,” Proteins: Structure Function and Bioinformatics 55: 177-186 (2004), which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. The molecular simulation data shows that trehalose molecules cluster and move toward the protein (neither expelling water from the protein surface nor forming hydrogen bonds with the protein). The coating by trehalose at moderate concentration does not significantly reduce conformational fluctuations of the protein.

The secondary consideration was that the ready-to-use preservation formulation should be radiolysis-resistant and provide at least some protection for ATM under radiation conditions (as gamma radiation was found to produce several undesirable effects that were similar to the aging processes during ATM storage). Thus, low dose cold gamma irradiation was used to screen the combinations of stabilizers for the ready-to-use formulation. The combination of glycerol and trehalose was found to be superior to other combinations for ATM protection against gamma irradiation. In addition, it was thought that this screening strategy might lead to a formulation that would also offer some protection against radiation damage.

Other considerations for the solutions included, e.g., the water activity and ionic strength. The water activity of the solution was reduced to about 0.95 to 0.97. Ionic strength was balanced by adding NaCl. NaCl affects protein conformation because the cation of the salt (i.e., Na+) is a buffer component.

The content of lipids in processed ATM varies greatly from one sample to another, ranging from 0.2% to >30% (w/w) of tissue mass (based on the data of >60 production lots). Lipid oxidation and its by-products could cause an array of free radical-mediated protein degradation reactions. Lipids can undergo auto-oxidation, and therefore the oxygen exclusion packaging method alone is not adequate to prevent lipid oxidation during ATM storage. Thus, mannitol and trehalose were added in the formulations to inhibit lipid degradation.

α,α-trehalose dihydrate was used as a stabilizer at 2 to 6% (w/v) in Avastin and Herceptin formulations for intravenous (IV) use (4 to 20 ml per dose). LD50 (acute toxicity) of trehalose in mouse, rat and dog for IV application is >1.0 g per kg body weight. Subcutaneous administration of trehalose at 0.25 g per kg body weight per day for 14 days does not show toxicity in dogs.

Table 1 lists six components and their perceived roles in the ready-to-use preservation solutions. The number of chemicals used in formulations was kept to the minimum through the selection of agents that were able to play multiple roles to address those major issues described above. For example, EDTA and glycerol served as microbial stasis agents and at the same time were able to inhibit the activities of matrix metaloproteinaces (MMPs) (if they were present). EDTA was also an effective free radical scavenger, and at a concentration of 1 to 5 mM, it prevented metal-induced oxidation of —SH groups and helped to maintain proteins in a reduced state.

TABLE 1
Perceived roles of individual comoponents in the ready-to-use formulations.
Perceived rolesCitrateEDTATween 20GlycerolMannitolTrehalose
Inhibition of*******
microbial activity
Inhibition of**
enzymatic
activity
Inhibition of**
hydrolytic
activity
Inhibition of lipid*****
oxidation
Inhibition of*
Maillard
reactions
Stabilization of*******
proteins
* or ** indicates the relative effectiveness of each component in the solution.

Antimicrobial activities of preservation solutions were tested using the following two solution formulations.

#1: a solution containing 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM Na citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mM Na2HPO4.

#2: a solution containing 4.8 mM citric acid (monohydrate), 15.2 mM Na citrate tribasic dehydrate, 7.3 mM EDTA 2Na, 83.5 mM NaCl, 200 mM mannitol (anhydrous), 10% (w/v) glycerol, 100 mM trehalose (dihydrate), 0.013% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 0.34 mM KH2PO4, and 1.85 mM Na2HPO4.

Prepared solutions were sterile-filtrated, and dispensed into sterile plastic bottles (50 ml solution added to each bottle). Solution bottles were inoculated with six different microorganisms (Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Candida albicans ATCC 10231, and Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404). To each bottle in each set of test solutions was added the appropriate microorgamsm to a final concentration of between 4.0×105 and 8.7×106 colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/ml). The initial concentration of viable organisms in each test solution (at day 0) was determined by heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) before storage at 2 to 8° C. The colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/ml) present in each solution preparation at day 60 and 180 of storage were determined again by HPC.

The change in logo values of cfu/ml for each microorganism at the applicable test intervals was expressed in terms of log reductions. FIG. 2 depicts the results of antimicrobial activity tests. Both test solutions showed strong antimicrobial activities during storage at 2 to 8° C.

The presence of antimicrobial activities of the preservation solution suggests that the sterility of tissue products that are preserved in a preservation solution can be achieved by low dose gamma irradiation. The following experiment was performed to test the ability of low gamma irradiation (0, 5 and 10 kGy) to kill microbes in the preservation solutions.

The test solution used for the experiment contained: 2.7 mM citric acid, 17.3 mM sodium citrate, 7.3 mM EDTA, 116.7 mM sodium chloride, 200 mM mannitol, 10% (w/v) glycerol, 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 200 mM trehalose, 0.34 mM KB2PO4, and 1.85 mM KB2PO4.

Solutions were sterile-filtrated and dispensed into sterile plastic bottles (40 ml each). Four sets of solution bottles were prepared for inoculation with each of six different microorganisms. Microorganisms tested were: Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Candida albicans ATCC 10231, Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404. To each bottle in each set was added the appropriate microorganism to a final concentration of between 7.5×107 and 1.25×108 colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/ml).

One set of inoculated samples was used to determine the number of surviving organisms after inoculation and brief storage under refrigeration (control #1). Three sets were sent out to a commercial gamma irradiation facility and subjected to 0 (control #2), 5, and 10 kGy gamma irradiation, respectively.

Following irradiation, heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) of all controls and irradiated solutions were performed in duplicate to determine the number of surviving organisms present.

Following plate count enumeration, confirmation of the identity of the indicated organism was performed using standard microbiological methods.

The numbers of surviving organisms in the control #1 set were determined to be 4.7×107 for Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, 1.0×106 for Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027, 3.1×107 for Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, 1.0×106 for Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, 4.2×107 for Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and 1.0×106 for Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404. These numbers were lower than the number of microorganisms added, indicating that a large number of microorganisms did not survive the exposure to the preservation solution and/or that they could not be recovered.

The control #2 set was shipped to a commercial gamma irradiation facility and was sent back without gamma irradiation. During the brief shipment period at ambient temperature (2 days), there was further reduction in the numbers of surviving microorganisms for Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404 (five out of six organisms tested).

FIG. 3 depicts the microbial kill data at low dose gamma irradiation. A dose as low as 5 kGy achieved at least 6 log reduction except for Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, and 10 kGy achieved at least 6 log reduction for all 6 tested microorganisms.

The following experiment was performed to demonstrate the protective effect of some stabilizers and their combinations against tissue damage upon cold gamma irradiation.

Human skin tissue samples (5 donor lots) were processed to remove the epidermis and cells from the skin. Decellularized tissue matrix was then preserved in a preservation solution containing base citrate/phosphate buffer containing sucrose, trehalose and glycerol as protectants against cold gamma irradiation at −80° C. The base buffer contained 12.8 mM Na2HPO4, 3.6 mM citric acid, 100 mM NaCl and 0.02% TWEEN 20. The following six solutions were tested: (i) base buffer only; (ii) base buffer+1.0 M glycerol; (iii) base buffer+0.5 M sucrose; (iv) base buffer+1.0 M glycerol+0.5 M sucrose; (v) base buffer+0.5 M trehalose; and (vi) base buffer+1.0 M glycerol+0.5 M trehalose.

Tissue samples (1 square cm) were placed into 2.0 mL cryotubes containing different protective solutions and frozen at −80° C. One set of tissue samples was placed into a box filled with crushed dry ice (−78.5° C.) and gamma-irradiated at a dose of 13 kGy. Both control samples and irradiated samples were stored at −80° C. before they were thawed and washed for histological evaluation of tissue samples. Sections of tissue matrix samples were mounted on glass microscope slides and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain using standard procedures. Slides were examined for gamma irradiation induced tissue matrix damage. Samples were scored using the following criteria:

Presence of Holes in the Sample: Holes in the ATM may represent a variety of structures including blood vessels, empty adipocytes, vacant hair follicles, and expansion of gas bubbles within the sample during the freeze-drying process. Histologically, it is difficult to distinguish between these, and hence the presence of holes is graded according to the total percentage area of the sample occupied by these structures. Scoring is determined based on the following thresholds:

ScoreAssessment
1-2Holes in 0%-10% of the sample.
3-4Holes in 11%-25% of the sample.
5-6Holes in 26%-40% of the sample.
7-9Holes in 41%-60% of the sample.
10Holes in >60% of the sample.

Collagen Damage: “Collagen damage” refers to the presence of broken collagen fibers, condensed collagen fibers, or distorted fibers. Collagen damage is reported as incidence of observation in visual fields for all samples. Scoring is determined based on the following thresholds:

ScoreAssessment
1-2Damage in 0%-10% of the fields examined.
3-4Damage in 11%-25% of the fields examined.
5-6Damage in 26%-50% of the fields examined.
7-8Damage in 51%-75% of the fields examined.
 9-10Damage in 76%-100% of the fields examined.

Papillary and Reticular Layer: Normal human dermis contains a papillary layer consisting of a superficial basem*nt membrane zone and a layer of vascular and amorphous structure lacking clearly defined thick bundles of collagen. The collagen and elastin appearance of the papillary layer is one of fine reticulation. The reticular layer merges with the papillary layer and is composed of clearly defined collagen bundles. If collapse or melting occurs during processing of the tissue to produce the ATM, a condensation of the papillary layer is often observed. Scoring is determined based on the following thresholds:

ScoreAssessment
 0Clearly defined vascular plexus, clear transition.
0-2Loss of structural features in superficial papillary layer,
including vascular plexus.
0-2Loss of structural features in inner papillary layer.
0-2Loss of transition zone between papillary and reticular layer.
10Absence or replacement of papillary layer with
amorphous condensed layer.

FIG. 4 depicts the differences among stabilizers and their combinations in tissue protection against radiation damage. A combination of glycerol and trehalose offered the highest quality preservation as determined by tissue histology in these experiments.

The protective role of the preservation solutions against the damaging effects of ionizing radiation was examined with decellularized human and porcine dermal tissue matrix. Skin tissue from one human donor was processed to remove epidermis and cells as described above. After washing with Dulbecco's PBS solution containing 5 mM EDTA (sodium salt) twice, the decellularized tissue was incubated in a solution containing 7.2 mM citric acid, 22.8 mM sodium citrate, 6 mM EDTA (sodium salt), 100 mM sodium chloride, 300 mM mannitol, 15% (w/v) glycerol, 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20, and 200 mM trehalose dihydrate. The amount of the solution added was 2 ml per gram decellularized tissue matrix. After incubation, tissue matrix was packaged in film-to-film pouches. The film-to-film pouches were then packaged in secondary foil-to-foil pouches. Porcine dermal tissue was harvested from wild-type pig and was processed, preserved, and packaged in the same way as described above. The tissue matrix samples were then gamma-irradiated at a dose of 20 kGy.

After gamma irradiation, tissue samples were washed with 0.9% saline to remove protectants and tissue damage was assessed using differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) method. DSC analysis measures the change of thermostability of tissue matrix. When collagen-based materials are heated to their denaturation temperature, heat-labile intramolecular cross-links are broken, and collagen molecules undergo the transition measured by DSC from a highly organized structure to a random gel-like state because of the “unwinding” of the triple helix due to the destruction of the intramolecular cross-links and the residual tension of the heat-stable intermolecular cross-links.

In order to assess the effects of the preservation solutions, the effects of gamma irradiation on collagen-based tissue matrix was investigated using bovine insoluble collagen matrix of Archilles heel (Sigma Chemical Co., St Louis, MO) and human dermis matrix (acellular tissue matrix). Samples of acellular tissue matrix and bovine insoluble collagen matrix were gamma irradiated at a dose of 19 to 20 kGy. After gamma irradiation, tissue samples were rehydrated in 0.9% saline, and tissue damage was assessed using DSC. FIG. 5 depicts a comparison of thermograms of samples before and after gamma irradiation. Before gamma irradiation, the onset denaturation temperature was 58 to 60ºC for both bovine collagen matrix and acellular tissue matrix. After gamma irradiation, the onset denaturation temperature decreased to approximately 32ºC, or below body temperature. Three separate domains appeared in gamma irradiated acellular tissue matrix. This DSC analysis predicted a partial, spontaneous denaturation of gamma irradiated tissue matrix after implantation in vivo. The damage to the tissue matrix after gamma irradiation was also reflected by the significant increase in denaturation enthalpy (denaturation peak size).

FIG. 6 depicts the changes in thermograms of tissue matrix samples that had been incubated in the preservation solution before gamma irradiation. Gamma irradiation (20 kGy) only caused a 4° C. decrease in the onset denaturation temperature in human dermal tissue matrix. The onset denaturation temperature of gamma irradiated human ATM remained to be as high as 56 to 57ºC, in contrast to the onset denaturation temperature of ˜32° C. for the freeze dried, gamma irradiated ATM. In addition, there was no domain separation in the tissue matrix preserved in the solution after gamma irradiation. The results for the porcine dermal tissue matrix were similar to the human dermal tissue matrix. The onset denaturation temperature of porcine tissue matrix in the preservation solution decreased only slightly from 58 to 59° C. to 53ºC, whereas the onset denaturation temperature of freeze dried porcine tissue decreased to 35 to 37° C., along with significant domain separation. The DSC result demonstrated that tissue matrix in the preservation solution was resistant to gamma irradiation damage.

The experiment compared the differences in tissue histology, collagen thermal stability, tensile properties, resistance of tissue matrix to collagenase and proteinase K degradation between freeze dried pig tissue matrix samples and samples preserved in a preservation solution.

In the experiment, pig skin tissue was decellularized as described in Example 5. Decellularized pig dermal tissue matrix was also treated by DNAse and α-galactosidase. Processed porcine tissue matrix was cut into small sample pieces (1.5 cm×6.0 cm) in the same direction. Tissue samples were divided into four groups. Samples of two groups were packaged into Tyvek pouches and freeze dried. Freeze dried samples were then packaged in secondary foil-to-foil pouches. Samples of the other two groups were incubated in a preservation solution containing: 4 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium citrate, 3 mM EDTA (sodium salt), 80 mM sodium chloride, 200 mM mannitol, 15% (w/v) glycerol, 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20, and 400 mM trehalose dihydrate. The amount of the solution added was 2 ml per gram (g) of decellularized tissue matrix. After incubation, tissue matrix was packaged in film-to-film pouches. The film-to-film pouches were then packaged in secondary foil-to-foil pouches. One group of freeze dried samples and one group of samples in the solution were gamma irradiated at a dose of 26 kGy at ambient temperature.

The change in tissue histology after gamma irradiation was examined using the routing histological method as described above. Tissue samples were washed with PBS saline overnight, and fixated in 10% formalin. Samples were processed and stained with H&E.

After rinsing and rehydrating the tissue, the change in collagen thermal stability was measured using DSC. The change in tensile properties was tested using Instron after rinse and rehydration with 0.9% saline.

To determine the resistance of tissue samples against collagenase and proteinase K, tissue samples were first washed in 0.9% saline with gentle agitation. The saline solution was changed three times during the washing to remove protectants in the tissue samples. Washed samples were then freeze-dried and used for enzymatic analysis.

The susceptibility of tissue matrix to collagenase was measured with the following method. The stock solution of type I collagenase was prepared at 10 mg/ml in 10 mM Tris-HCl buffer (pH 7.5) containing 5 mM CaCl2). Tissue samples of 20 to 30 mg dry mass were rehydrated in 2.0-mi Eppendorf tubes with 1.5 mL of Tris-HCl buffer at 2 to 8° C. overnight. Samples were centrifuged at 12,000 rpm for 5 minutes, and the supernatant containing protectants was discarded. Tissue samples were re-suspended in 1.5 ml of Tris-HCl buffer, and centrifuged again to wash out the remaining protectant. Washed tissue samples were resuspended again with 1.5 ml of pre-warmed (37° C.) Tris-HCl buffer, and 60 μl of collagenase stock solution was added for each sample. Enzyme digestion was performed for 3 and 7 hours at 37° C. with gentle agitation. At the end of collagenase digestion, samples were centrifuged and washed twice with distilled water. Pelleted tissue samples were freeze dried, and the resistance of tissue matrix to type I collagenase digestion was determined according to the dry weight of remaining tissue after digestion.

The susceptibility of tissue matrix to proteinase K was measured with the following method. Proteinase K stock solution was prepared at 10 mg/ml in 10 mM Tris-HCl (pH 7.5) containing 2 mM CaCl2) and 50% glycerol (w/v). Samples of 20 to 30 mg dry mass were rehydrated in 2.0-ml Eppendorf tubes with 1.5 mL of 10 mM Tris-HCl buffer (pH 7.5) containing 2 mM CaCl2) at 2 to 8° C. overnight. Samples were centrifuged at 12,000 rpm for 5 minutes, and the supernatant was discarded. Tissue samples were re-suspended in 1.5 ml of fresh Tris-HCl buffer, and 30-μl proteinase K stock solution was added to each sample for digestion at 50° C. The resistance of tissue matrix to proteinase K digestion was determined by weight after centrifugation, washing, and freeze drying.

DSC analysis showed that freeze drying did not affect the thermal stability of the tissue matrix. The onset denaturation temperature was 60.8±0.7° C. (N=6) and 60.0±0.9° C. (N=5) for freeze dried samples and samples in preservation solution, respectively. However, upon exposure of the matrix to 26 kGy gamma irradiation, the onset denaturation temperature of freeze dried samples decreased to 37.8±0.6° C. (N=4), whereas the onset denaturation temperature of the matrix samples treated with preservation solution was 53.3±1.1° ° C. (N=4). The depression of the onset denaturation temperature was 23° C. in freeze dried samples in comparison to 7° C. in samples treated with preservation solution.

FIG. 7 depicts tensile strength and stiffness of Yucatan porcine tissue matrix after 26 kGy gamma irradiation. Gamma irradiation at 26 kGy reduced the tensile strength and stiffness of porcine tissue matrix. For freeze dried tissue samples, tensile strength was reduced by more than 90%, and tissue stiffness was reduced by ˜85%. Pig tissue matrix samples incubated in the preservation solution were more resistant to gamma irradiation damage. Tensile strength and tissue stiffness of the samples in preservation solution was reduced by only ˜25%.

Type I collagen is the predominant component of the pATM. The susceptibility of gamma-irradiated pATM to enzyme degradation was evaluated in vitro using type I collagenase. FIG. 8 depicts the 1st order kinetic plots of tissue matrix degradation by type I collagease. The rate constant (i.e., slope) of tissue degradation in freeze dried pATM increased by ˜160% from 0.07 to 0.179 after 26 kGy gamma irradiation, whereas that value of the pATM treated with the solution was only increased by ˜20% to 0.083 after gamma irradiation.

In addition to a collagenase degradation assay, another proteolytic enzyme (proteinase K) was also used to examine the tissue matrix integrity after gamma irradiation. Proteinase K is a enzyme that cleaves peptide bonds at the carboxylic sides of aliphatic, aromatic or hydrophobic amino acids, and is known to have higher affinity to proteins that have destabilizing conformational changes and are partially unfolded or damaged. The susceptibility to proteinase K degradation can indicate small protein structural changes.

FIG. 9 depicts the resistance of pig tissue matrix against proteinase K digestion after gamma irradiation. The 1st order kinetic plots indicated the marked increase in the rate constant of tissue matrix degradation in freeze dried samples after gamma irradiation. Gamma irradiation also increased the rate constant of tissue matrix degradation in the samples in solution, but to a much less extent, suggesting less structural modification upon gamma irradiation.

The following experiment demonstrated that minimal modification to a tissue matrix occurs when it is preserved in an exemplary solution and dosed with 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 kGy of gamma irradiation.

The exemplary solution used in the experiment contained: 4.0 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium citrate, 6 mM EDTA, 100 mM sodium chloride, 300 mM mannitol, 15% (w/v) glycerol, 0.03% (w/v) TWEEN 20, and 300 mM trehalose.

Four lots of human donor skin tissue were processed as described above. After washing with Dulbecco's PBS solution twice, decellularized tissues were treated with 0.1% PAA for 3 hours. Then the tissue matrices were placed in solution overnight.

For each donor lot, six orientation-paired (3×7 cm) pieces were cut from the same large piece of skin tissue. These matched samples were used for biomechanical testing after gamma irradiation. In addition, 24 (2×2 cm) small pieces were cut for DSC and histological evaluation after gamma irradiation. Samples (sample 6 and 24) were placed into a 125 ml bottle and incubated in the solution at a volume ratio of 2 to 1 (2 mL solution per 1 g processed tissue) for 48 to 72 hours.

After incubation, tissue samples were removed from the solutions and packaged into film-to-film pouches. One paired piece and 4 small unpaired pieces were packaged into one pouch. The film-to-film pouches were packaged in secondary foil-to-foil pouches. Packaged tissue samples were gamma-irradiated for 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 kGy at an ambient temperature.

calorimetric analysis of tissue matrix integrity. Tissue samples were washed with PBS saline overnight, and evaluated by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) to determine the onset denaturation temperature and denaturation enthalpy after gamma irradiation. Three samples from different tissue pieces were analyzed for each gamma dose level.

Histological evaluation. Tissue samples were washed with PBS saline overnight and were then fixated in 10% formalin. Samples were processed and stained with H&E. Standard histological evaluation were carried out according to LifeCell protocol (refer to Example 4 above). Three samples from different tissue pieces were evaluated for each gamma dose level.

Biomechanical test. After irradiation, paired samples were rinsed with 0.9% saline for ˜1 hour. Each paired sample was cut into two 1×7 cm samples. Tensile strength of the samples were tested using the Instron system (described above).

After the biomechanical test, tissue samples were washed in 0.9% saline with gentle agitation. Saline solution was changed three times during washing. The extended washing step was meant to rinse out any protectant within tissue matrix. Washed samples were then freeze-dried, and used for enzymatic analysis.

The susceptibility of tissue matrix to collagenase degradation was measured (as described above). The half life was used to express the resistance of tissue matrix to type I collagenase digestion. The susceptibility of gamma irradiated tissue to trypsin digestion was determined according to the following method. Samples (20-30 mg) of freeze dried tissue were placed into 2.0 ml Eppendorf tubes, and 1.5 ml Tris-HCl buffer (100 mM Tris-HCl, 2 mM CaCl2), pH 7.6) was added to rehydrate tissue overnight at 2 to 8° C. An aliquot of 100 μl trypsin stock solution (20 mg/mL trypsin in 1 mM HCl with 20 mM CaCl2)) was mixed by gentle inversion, and samples were incubated at 37° C. for 40-48 hours. At the completion of digestion, samples were centrifuged for 5 minutes at 12,000 rpm, and supernatant was discarded. Pellets were washed with 1.5 ml of milli-Q water and centrifuged again for 5 minutes at 12,000 rpm. Centrifuged tissue pellets were freeze dried and the remaining tissue weight was determined. The loss of tissue was used to express the resistance to trypsin degradation.

DSC analysis (FIG. 10) showed a depression of the onset tissue matrix denaturation temperature (Tmdepression) up to 6° C. upon gamma irradiation at 25 kGy. The extent of the onset Tmdepression was dose-dependent. There was no significant change in denaturation enthalpy among control and irradiated samples. The observed change in tissue matrix integrity after gamma irradiation for matrices in the solution was very small when compared to freeze-dried tissue matrix (compare to the results shown in Examples 5 and 6).

Histological evaluation (FIG. 11) also showed no significant change in total histological scores in tissue matrix samples after gamma irradiation in the preservation solution. That is, the tissue matrice retained their normal histology.

Tensile testing (FIG. 12) showed that no significant change in stiffness and strength of tissue matrix samples occurred for matrices in the preservation solution when exposed to gamma irradiation.

Trypsin and collagenase digestion studies also showed insignificant changes in the resistance of tissue matrix against enzyme degradation after gamma irradiation (FIG. 13).

The preservation solutions consisted of biocompatible buffer agents, osmolyte, surfactant, reducing agents, transition metal chelator and other stabilizers (e.g., glycerol, mannitol and trehalose). Because some components may play multiple roles in preserving tissue matrix materials, there could be many variations in preservation solution formulation. An important bulk property of those solutions is a water activity between 0.930 to 0.995, which allows adequate hydration of tissue matrix to be pliable while at the same time retards adventitious deleterious processes during storage.

In the following experiment, the effect of variation of concentrations of trehalose and mannitol was tested. The base solution contained: 4.0 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium citrate, 5 mM sodium EDTA, 80 mM NaCl, 15% (w/v) glycerol, and 0.02% (w/v) TWEEN 20. The base solution was test solution #1. Test solution #2 contained additional 300 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol. Test solution #3 additional contained 100 mM trehalose and 100 mM mannitol. Test solution #4 contained additional 100 mM trehalose and 300 mM mannitol. Test solution #5 contained additional 300 mM trehalose and 100 mM mannitol.

Decellularized human dermal tissue matrix was incubated in these five solutions in a ratio of 2 ml preservation solution per g tissue. After incubation, tissue samples were packaged into film-to-film pouches that were packaged in secondary foil pouches. Packaged tissue samples were gamma-irradiated with 9 or 26 kGy at ambient temperature. Freeze dried, non-irradiated samples were used as control samples. Tissue histology, tensile strength, and collagen stability were measured after gamma irradiation.

Table 2 shows the results of histological evaluation. There were no significant differences among 5 solutions for human dermal tissue matrix after gamma irradiation of 9 and 26 kGy.

TABLE 2
Histological scores (H & B stain) of tissue matrix samples
in five preservation solutions after gamma irradiation.
GammaPapillary to
No. ofdoseCollagenreticular
Methodsdonor lots(kGy)Holesdamage transition
FD8 03.4 ± 1.04.7 ± 1.07.0 ± 0.9
RTU #17 93.0 ± 0.03.9 ± 0.97.0 ± 0.8
RTU #27 92.9 ± 0.73.9 ± 0.96.3 ± 0.8
RTU #37 93.0 ± 0.84.1 ± 1.37.1 ± 1.1
RTU #47 93.1 ± 1.14.1 ± 1.27.0 ± 1.2
RTU #57 92.9 ± 0.74.1 ± 1.16.9 ± 1.1
RTU #18262.1 ± 0.64.9 ± 1.07.1 ± 0.8
RTU #28262.5 ± 0.84.6 ± 1.27.0 ± 0.9
RTU #38262.3 ± 0.54.9 ± 1.47.4 ± 0.7
RTU #48262.1 ± 0.64.4 ± 1.16.9 ± 1.1
RTU #58262.1 ± 0.75.3 ± 1.37.6 ± 1.0

Table 3 shows the tensile strength and tissue stiffness of gamma-irradiated tissue matrices in each of the different test solutions. In comparison to freeze dried, non-irradiated tissue samples, tensile strength and stiffness of tissue samples in 5 solutions did not change after gamma-irradiation at 26 kGy.

TABLE 3
Tensile strength of tissue matrix samples in five
preservation solutions after gamma irradiation
StrengthStiffness
MethodsNo. of lotsDose (kGy)(MPa)(MPa)
FD6 012.4 ± 3.450.0 ± 12.3
RTU162613.1 ± 4.444.5 ± 11.8
RTU262613.7 ± 2.046.3 ± 7.9 
RTU362613.6 ± 2.547.1 ± 7.0 
RTU462612.7 ± 2.546.1 ± 7.4 
RTU562612.4 ± 4.345.1 ± 11.1

Table 4 shows the collagen thermal stability of irradiated tissue matrices in each of the preservation solutions. Gamma irradiation (9 and 26 kGy) slightly decreased collagen stability of tissue samples in preservation solutions. In comparison to the freeze dried, non-irradiated tissue products, the onset denaturation temperature decreased by ˜3 to 5° C.

TABLE 4
The onset denaturation temperature of tissue matrix
samples in five preservation solutions after gamma irradiation.
MethodsGamma Dose (kGy)Onset Tm (° C.)
FD 061.8 ± 0.7
RTU #1 958.4 ± 0.7
RTU #2 958.9 ± 0.7
RTU #3 959.1 ± 0.9
RTU #4 958.7 ± 0.7
RTU #5 959.0 ± 0.8
RTU #12656.1 ± 1.3
RTU #22656.6 ± 1.1
RTU #32656.3 ± 1.2
RTU #42656.2 ± 1.5
RTU #52656.4 ± 1.3

This experiment evaluated histological, biochemical and thermochemical properties of human dermal tissue matrix preserved in four exemplary preservation solutions after the E-beam irradiation (10 and 20 kGy). These exemplary preservation solutions contained different combinations of glycerol, trehalose and mannitol. The freeze dried tissues samples without irradiation were used as controls.

Solution #1 in the experiment was the base solution and contained 4 mM citric acid, 16 mM sodium phosphate (dibasic), 100 mM NaCl and 4 mM sodium EDTA. Solution #2 contained 12% (w/v) glycerol and 360 mM trehalose in the base solution. Solution #3 contained 12% (w/v) glycerol, 360 mM and 360 mM trehalose in the base solution. Solution #4 contained 4 mM citric acid, 26 mM sodium phosphate (dibasic), 100 mM NaCl, 5 mM sodium EDTA, 0.12% (w/v) TWEEN 20, 12% (w/v) glycerol, 240 mM mannitol and 240 mM trehalose. The pH of solution #1 to #3 was 6.0, and the pH of solution #4 was 6.4.

Ten (10) human donor skin lots were de-epidermized and decellularized. Processed tissue matrices were rinsed and washed with Dulbecco's PBS solution. Tissue materials of each donor lot was divided into five groups. Four groups were incubated with the exemplary preservation solutions, and the other group was freeze dried and used as control (ATM). Then the preservation solutions were added to bottles containing the processed tissues at a ratio of 3 ml solution per g tissue, and incubated for at least 6 hours. After incubation tissue samples were removed from the preservation solutions and packaged into film-to-foil pouches. The film-to-foil pouces were sealed in a second foil-to-foil pouch. The group of control tissue samples was incubated in a lyoprotectant solution and packaged in TYVEK pouches for freeze drying. After freeze drying, samples were packaged into secondary foil to foil pouches. The packaged tissue samples (in preservation solution) were irradiated with E-beam of 10 and 20 kGy at ambient temperature.

Tissue samples were examined using a battery of histological, calorimetric, and biochemical tests. Histological evaluation was done using standard histological processing techniques, and tissue slides were stained with the H&E method. DSC analysis and trypsin digestion assays were described above.

Biochemical analysis after E-beam irradiation included the determination of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and tissue-bound lipid peroxidation by-products in the tissue matrix samples. The presence of GAG was detected using the cellulose acetate membrane method. Tissue-bound lipid peroxidation by-products were measured using the TBA (thiobabituric acid) method with malondialdehyde bis(dimethyl acetal) as a standard.

Histological evaluation showed much lower histological scores for the presence of holes, collagen damage, papillary-to-reticular layer transition than freeze dried control samples. No significant difference was evident between groups subjected to 10 and 20 kGy E-beam irradiation in any solutions.

Results of GAG analysis are presented in Table 5. GAG analysis detected whether hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate were present after incubation in the preservation solution and E-beam irradiation. E-beam irradiation did not eliminate the GAG species in the tissue.

TABLE 5
Results of GAG analysis of human dermal tissue matrix with Preservation
Solutions and E-beam irradiation (10 and 20 kGy).
Lot #
3310530706313163053440341342553215641067 4137436085
TreatmentHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CSHA/CS
S0, e10−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+
S1, e10+/++/+−/++/+−/++/+−/+−/++/+−/+
S2, e10+/++/++/++/++/++/+−/+−/++/+−/+
S3, e10+/++/++/++/+−/++/+−/++/++/+−/+
S0, e20+/++/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+−/+
S1, e20+/+−/+−/++/+−/++/+−/++/++/+−/+
S2, e20+/++/++/+−/+−/++/+−/++/+−/+−/+
S3, e20+/++/++/++/+−/++/+−/++/++/+−/+
F/D+/++/++/++/+−/++/++/++/++/+−/+
F/D, e20 +/++/++/++/+−/++/+−/++/++/+−/+
HA—Hyauronic acid;
Cs—Chondroitin sulfate

Lot # refers to individual subjects from which the tissue samples used to make the ATMs were derived.

e10 or e20 refer to the dosage in kGy of E-beam irradiation that the ATMs were exposed to.

S0, S1, S2, or S3 refer to the preservation solution contacted to each ATM.

Lipid peroxides are highly reactive by-products of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The formation of lipid peroxides in tissue may be induced by E-beam irradiation. Once formed, lipid peroxides will react with collagen and other protein molecules, covalently bind to tissue matrix, and potentially initiate tissue aging/degradation pathways (Maillard reactions). FIG. 14 shows the content of tissue-bound lipid peroxidation by-products in tissue samples treated with 4 exemplary preservation solutions and E-beam. Freeze dried samples had very low lipid peroxidation by-products. Even after E-beam irradiation, the content of lipid peroxidation by-products remained low in freeze dried samples and samples in the #1 base buffer solution. Tissue samples treated with solution #2, #3, and #4 contained much greater tissue bound lipid peroxidation by-products after E-beam irradiation, presumably because the presence of stabilizers slowed down the reaction between tissue matrix and reactive by-products.

FIG. 15 shows the trypsin digestion results for human tissue samples in preservation solutions after E-beam irradiation. No difference in the susceptibility to trypsin digestion was observed among four exemplary preservation solutions. However, E-beam irradiation of 20 kGy slightly increased tissue matrix digestion by trypsin.

Table 6 shows the DSC results of tissue matrix samples in preservation solution after E-beam irradiation. E-beam irradiation decreased the onset denaturation temperature of tissue samples, and higher E-beam doses led to greater decrease in onset temperatures. Tissue samples in preservation solutions had a significantly smaller decrease in the onset denaturaiton temperatures. No significant difference was evident in denaturation enthalpy among all treatments.

TABLE 6
DSC analysis results of tissue samples after E-beam irradiation.
E-beam doseOnset denaturation
Tissue materials(kGy)temperature (° C)Enthalpy (J/g)
Freeze-dried 061.0 ± 1.021.1 ± 2.7
Freeze-dried2052.4 ± 1.821.9 ± 4.0
#1 solution1057.5 ± 1.820.9 ± 2.5
#1 solution2056.1 ± 1.619.7 ± 2.1
#2 solution1058.4 ± 1.620.5 ± 2.3
#2 solution2056.6 ± 1.521.0 ± 2.0
#3 solution1058.6 ± 1.120.9 ± 2.4
#3 solution2056.2 ± 1.420.4 ± 3.6
#4 solution1058.5 ± 1.120.2 ± 3.3
#4 solution2056.6 ± 1.821.1 ± 3.1

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cellular repopulation and revascularization of porcine regenerative tissue matrix (pATM) in a subcutaneous implantation model in the athymic mouse. This study was used to verify the following design requirements: the tissue supports connective tissue cell in-growth and the tissue becomes vascularized when implanted into a subject.

This study was conducted in accordance with the following Regulation: FDA 21 CFR Part 58 Good Laboratory Practice Regulations for Nonclinical Laboratory Studies (GLP), Revised Apr. 1, 2006. The Test Facility followed all requirements specified in the LifeCell approved protocol (LRD2007-01-001) and all applicable governmental regulations, as well as the Standard Operating Procedures of the Test Facility. The procedures were based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 10993: Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices, Part 6: Tests for Local Effects after Implantation. The Quality Assurance Unit from NAMSA monitored the facilities, equipment, personnel, methods, practices, records and controls used in this study to assure that they were in conformance with this protocol, company SOP's and the appropriate GLP regulations.

Twenty (20) nude mice (Mus musculus)/Hsd: Athymic nude-nu/nu were assigned to one of four (4) groups representing eight (8) material samples of porcine regenerative acellular tissue matrix (pATM). The pATM was made by a process comprising the following steps: removing hair from a skin sample from a pig; decellularizing the skin sample; removing DNA from the decellularized skin sample using a DNase; treating the decelullarized skin sample with alphagalactosidase, and sterilizing the decellularized skin sample (first with a solution containing 0.2% PAA followed by exposing the sample to low dose E-beam irradiation of 18 kGy±10%), each of which is described in detail above. Five (5) separate pieces of the same pATM material were placed in the animals during the surgical implantation. Each animal was implanted with two (2) pieces of material chosen randomly. The study design is detailed below in Table 7.

TABLE 7
Study Design
GroupTest Material #Number of ImplantsNumber of Animals
A601 (A & B)105
B608 (A & B)105
C621 (A & B)105
D647 (A & B)105

Animal testing is a prerequisite for safety testing. As the Test Materials were derived from pigs, these samples were xenogenic with respect to the mice used in the study. In order to avoid the problems with cross-species incompatibilities, the immunocompromised athymic nude mouse was one of the available models. The athymic mouse has historically been used to evaluate the response of a biomaterial following implantation without the interference of an immune response.

The implants were stored refrigerated at 2 to 8° C. at the study facility until the time of implantation. Immediately prior to implantation, the implants were rinsed in a 0.9% sterile saline wash for a minimum of two (2) minutes, as per the instructions in the approved study protocol. All handling of the implant test materials was done utilizing aseptic technique.

On the day of the surgery, each of the twenty (20) mice was implanted with two (2) separate pieces of the same implant test material. The animals for each group were randomized. Two large incisions were made subcutaneously on either side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column. Using blunt dissection, a pocket was created in the subcutaneous tissue to accommodate the 0.5 cm×1.0 cm pieces of the implant test material. Once implanted, the surgical sites were closed with stainless steel wound clips.

Following implantation, the animals were observed daily for abnormal clinical signs. All of the animals survived for thirty-five (35) days post-implantation. At the end of the thirty-five (35) day time period the implant test material and adjacent soft tissue were removed, fixed, and processed for histology. The slides were prepared, stained, and evaluated for histological evidence of the cellular repopulation of the tissue with fibroblasts and histological evidence of revascularization within the implant test material and surrounding tissue.

Characteristics of fibroblast repopulation of the implant test material were evaluated via histological assessment based on PASS/FAIL criteria. The following criterion was used to evaluate acceptance of the test material:

    • 1. Observed histological evidence of cellular repopulation is considered a PASS; and
    • 2. The absence of cellular repopulation is considered a FAIL.
    • 1. Observed histological evidence of vascular channels is considered a pass; and
    • 2. The absence of vascular channels is considered a FAIL.

The acceptance criteria for the verification of Gemini Design Specification (LDC-05-02) requirements of “supporting connective tissue cell in-growth” and “becomes vascularized” are three (3) of the four (4) implant test material samples yielding a PASS for cellular repopulation and three (3) of the four (4) Test Material samples yielding a PASS for revascularization.

Fixed samples of the tissue underwent standard histological processing which was followed by hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) staining. A Pass/Fail scoring system was used to assess cellular (fibroblast) repopulation and revascularization of the implant. Cellular repopulation and revascularization was apparent in all test groups at thirty-five (35) days post-implantation. Details of the scoring per Test Group are summarized in Table 8.

TABLE 8
Histological Results Summary
Number ofHistology Assessment
GroupTest MaterialImplantsRepopulationRevascularization
A601A5PassPass
601B5PassPass
B608A5PassPass
608B5PassPass
C621A5PassPass
621B5PassPass
D647A5PassPass
647B5PassPass

Thus, the histological analysis of the porcine regenerative tissue matrix (pATM) indicates that the Test Groups showed revascularization and cellular repopulation at thirty-five (35) days. Additionally, all test materials including components A and B yielded passing outcomes for cellular repopulation and revascularization. These results indicate that the pATM does support the design verification requirement for “supports connective tissue in-growth” and “becomes vascularized” when implanted in a mammalian host.

The following example describes the results from porcine Regenerative Tissue Matrix (pATM) implanted in an African Green monkey abdominal wall defect model over a 6-month time course. pATM grafts were implanted in the primate abdominal wall defect repair model and assessed for biological attributes through post-operative observations, biomechanical testing and histological assessment following 2-weeks, 1-month, 3 months and 6-months after implantation.

Gross and tactile examination of the explanted grafts at all time points yielded no evidence of graft defects, graft herniation, attachment of visceral tissue or signs of unusual inflammation. Furthermore, the explanted grafts yielded mechanical strength values consistent with a significant integration of the graft with the native abdominal wall tissue.

The histological assessment of the explanted grafts demonstrated evidence of fibroblast infiltration as early as 2-weeks and uniform cellular repopulation by 3-months. The revascularization of the grafts was minimal at 2-weeks, but appeared robust following 1-month of implantation. By 3-months of implantation, the grafts were uniformly revascularized with the presence of capillaries and arterioles. At the 2-week time point, the grafts elicited moderate immune cell infiltration at the periphery, consisting of lymphocytes and eosinophils. Following 1-month of implantation, an insignificant concentration of immune cells was observed distributed throughout the grafts. The grafts displayed a time-dependent increase in new collagen deposition and collagen orientation. While no new collagen deposition was observed following 2 weeks of implantation, by 1 month, a significant amount of new, organized collagen was evident. By 3 months, 100% of the collagen within the grafts appeared to be newly deposited as well as fully aligned and organized.

pATM. Briefly, the porcine dermal matrix was processed to pATM according to the methods described above in Example 9. The final packaged product was sterilized using E-beam irradiation.

Implantation. The primate abdominal wall surgical procedure was performed at the Behavioral Science Foundation, Basseterre, St. Kitts. Twenty-four (24) adult African Green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops), weighing 3-6 kg (male or female), were obtained from Caribbean Primates Ltd. Full thickness defects (3×7 cm) were surgically made in the abdominal wall of each monkey, and each defect was closed with a single piece of pATM graft, followed by closure of the surgical site. Six animals were implanted per time point. The animals were held in-life for 2-weeks, 1-month, 3-months and 6-month implant intervals.

At the time of implantation, the surgeon made assessments of handling and tactile properties of the pATM. Post-operatively, and for the duration of implant, the animals were monitored for evidence of pain, redness, swelling, inflammation, or other trauma consistent with a surgical procedure. Oral intake and elimination were observed.

At the time of explant, the animals were sacrificed and the entire abdominal wall was circumferentially incised exposing the entire repair site. The veterinary surgeon made the following observations at the time of the explant surgery:

    • 1) observational evidence of graft defects or herniation
    • 2) observational evidence of bulging or wrinkling of the implant tissue
    • 3) observational evidence of attachment of visceral tissue to the implant
    • 4) observational evidence of unusual inflammatory response

The explant samples were shipped to LifeCell in tissue culture media at 4° C. on ice. Following receipt of the material at LifeCell the explants were evaluated for the following properties:

    • 1) physical evidence of graft defects or herniation
    • 2) physical evidence of bulging or wrinkling of the implant tissue
    • 3) physical evidence of attachment of visceral tissue to the implant
    • 4) measurement of implant tissue dimensions
    • 5) integration of implant and native tissue
    • 6) color of pATM
    • 7) mechanical healing strength

Histology preparation and staining of the pATM were performed as described above. The stained histology slides were reviewed (blind study) by a Board Certified Pathologist. The scoring of the slides is described below.

Samples explanted at the three month time point were damaged/altered due to a deviation in shipping procedures, thus rendering these samples unusable for some test methods. The gross observation of the explants was performed by the surgeons prior to the deviation and thus is included in the results, while the LifeCell gross observations were not performed. Photos taken of the explanted abdominal wall tissue following the deviation appeared similar to the photos from the other time points but were not used to generate any specific data items.

During the preparation of the pATM samples and the surgical procedure, the veterinary surgeon evaluated the handling and tactile properties of the pATM. The following attributes were evaluated by the surgeon:

    • 1) Compressibility—Tactile compression of the graft material
    • 2) Thickness—Tactile measurement of the graft depth
    • 3) Pliability—Ability to stretch the graft for approximation and placement in the wound
    • 4) Suturability—Ease of suture placement into the graft material
TABLE 9
The results from the surgeon’s assessment of handling characteristics.
Surgeon’s Assessment of pATM Handling Properties
Animal No.CompressibilityThicknessPliabilitySuturability
6147SoftThinYesEasy
6059SoftMediumYesEasy
6113N/C1MediumN/CModerate
5833MediumN/CModerateDifficult
6145MediumThinModerateN/C
6175Medium*ThickModerate*Difficult
6164SoftThinYesEasy
5953SoftThickModerateEasy
5929SoftN/CYesEasy
5930N/CThinN/CN/C
5938FirmMediumModerateN/C
6136FirmThinNoN/C
5788SoftMediumYesEasy
6128SoftMediumYes*Easy
5865MediumMediumModerateEasy
6176FirmMediumNoModerate
5965FirmThinYesN/C
5962FirmMediumModerateModerate
5685N/CMediumYesEasy
5686SoftThinYesEasy
5687SoftMediumYesEasy
6098FirmThinN/CModerate
6100FirmMediumNoModerate
6103N/CThinNoN/C
1NC = no comment from the surgeon regarding this attribute
*Not surgeons exact wording

There were no remarkable observations with regards to the tactile properties of the material noted by the implant surgeon.

Animals were observed for appetite, outputs and evidence of pain, as well as redness, swelling, and inflammation at the surgical site. All animals appeared to behave normally, without unusual redness, swelling, or inflammation beyond the normal expectations of abdominal surgery. There were no adverse events or unusual pathologic observations.

At the explant surgery, the veterinary surgeon assessed the implant site and made gross observations of the pATM material. Specifically, the following categories were monitored:

    • 1) Graft Defects/Herniation—a visual and tactile examination for holes or tears in the explanted graft material.
    • 2) Bulging/Wrinkling—areas above or below the plane of the normal level and smooth graft geometry.
    • 3) Visceral Tissue Attachment—the presence of any visceral organ tissue (liver, spleen, intestines, etc.) attached to the graft material.
    • 4) Inflammation—unusual redness or swelling of the abdominal wall repair site.
TABLE 10
The results from the surgeon’s gross observations of
the implantation site at the time of explant surgery.
Gross Observations of pATM at Sacrifice
AnimalDefects/Bulging/Visceral TissueSigns of
DurationNo.HerniationWrinklingAttachmentInflamation
2-weeks6147NoneNoneNoneNone
6059NoneNoneNoneNone
6113NoneWrinkledNoneNone
5833NoneWrinkledNoneNone
6145NoneWrinkledNoneNone
6175NoneWrinkledNoneNone
1-month6164NoneNoneNoneNone
5953NoneWrinkledNoneNone
5929NoneNoneNoneNone
5930NoneWrinkledNoneNone
5938NoneWrinkledNoneNone
6136NoneWrinkledNoneNone
3-months5788NoneNoneNoneNone
6128NoneNoneNoneNone
5865NoneNoneNoneNone
6176NoneNoneNoneNone
5965NoneNoneNoneNone
5962NoneNoneNoneNone
6-months5685NoneNoneNoneNone
5686NoneNoneNoneNone
5687NoneNoneNoneNone
6098NoneNoneNoneNone
6100NoneNoneNoneNone
6103NoneNoneNoneNone

The surgeon's post-implantation graft assessment indicated no evidence of defects/herniations, visceral tissue attachments or signs of inflammation at any time point. The surgeon did observe some wrinkling of the grafts at the 2-week and 1-month time points, but no wrinkling was observed at the 3- or 6-month time points.

Following the receipt of the explanted pATM samples at LifeCell, gross and physical observations of the material were made as follows:

    • visual and tactile examination for holes or tears in the explanted graft material.
    • areas above or below the plane of the normal level and smooth graft geometry.
    • the presence of any visceral organ tissue (liver, spleen, intestines, etc.) attached to the graft material.
    • measurement of graft length and width.
    • Color of the explanted graft.
    • visual and tactile assessment of the extent of graft and native tissue incorporation at the surgical interface.

Table 11 displays the results from the gross observations of the explant samples.

TABLE 11
Gross Observations of Explanted pATM at LifeCell
Visceral
AnimalDefects/Bulging/TissueExplant
DurationNo.HerniationWrinklingAttachmentDimensionsIntegrationColor
2-weeks6147NoneNoneNone4.5 × 3.0IntegratedFlesh/White
6059NoneNoneNone4.5 × 2.8IntegratedFlesh
6113NoneWrinkledNone4.5 × 3.5IntegratedFlesh
5833NoneWrinkledNone5.0 × 2.5IntegratedFlesh
6145NoneWrinkledNone5.0 × 2.4IntegratedN/C
6175NoneWrinkledNone4.8 × 2.6IntegratedFlesh/White
1-month6164NoneNoneNone5.5 × 4.0Well integratedWhite
5953NoneWrinkledNone4.0 × 2.5Well integratedWhite
5929NoneNoneNone4.5 × 3.5Well integratedN/C
5930NoneWrinkledNone4.5 × 3.5Well integratedWhite
5938NoneWrinkledNone4.0 × 3.5Well integratedWhite
6136NoneWrinkledNone4.0 × 3.0Well integratedWhite
3-months5788ND2ND2ND25.9 × 3.3ND2ND2
6128ND2ND2ND25.3 × 3.2ND2ND2
5865ND2ND2ND27.3 × 2.9ND2ND2
6176ND2ND2ND24.2 × 3.5ND2ND2
5965ND2ND2ND23.6 × 3.8ND2ND2
5962ND2ND2ND26.4 × 3.9ND2ND2
6-months5685NoneNoneNone4.6 × 4.5Well integratedFlesh
5686NoneNoneNone4.5 × 1.5Well integratedFlesh/Red
5687NoneNoneNone  5 × 4.4Well integratedFlesh
6098NoneNoneNone7 × 2Well integratedFlesh
6100NoneNoneNone  5 × 1.1Well integratedFlesh/White
6103NoneNoneNone  4 × 4.5Well integratedFlesh/White
2ND = not done. The physical assessment was not performed on these samples due to a deviation in shipping.

The post-implantation graft assessment by LifeCell indicated no evidence of defects/herniations or visceral tissue attachments at any time point. The LifeCell assessment did reveal some wrinkling of the grafts at the 2-week and 1-month time point but this outcome was not observed at 3- and 6-months. The LifeCell assessment of the primate graft interface indicated evidence of tissue integration at 2-weeks that became well integrated by 1 month.

Healing strength of the graft-native monkey tissue interface was measured by performing a tensile test to determine maximum load sustained by the explanted surgical site. The biomechanical samples were cut from the explants to contain graft material bridging the native monkey fascia-implant interface on both sides of the graft. Suture was removed from each interface and the entire sample was tested to failure. The resulting tensile strength was considered indicative of the healing repair across the implant/native tissue interface. Table 12 displays the results of the tensile testing to determine the healing repair strength.

TABLE 12
Mechanical Healing Strength of the pATM
DurationAnimal No.Maximum Load (N/cm)Mean ± std dev
2-weeks614754.1225.9 ± 17.0
605912.23
611326.88
583322.84
6145ND1
617513.41
1-month616444.5436.6 ± 10.2
595324.49
592948.24
593044.16
593830.93
613627.34
3-months5788ND2ND
6128ND2
5865ND2
6176ND2
5965ND2
5962ND2
6-months568564.4428.7 ± 21.6
568616.58
568718.15
609833.44
6100ND3
610311.03
1ND = not done. The mechanical strength was not performed due to insufficient sample material.
2ND = not done. The mechanical strength was not performed on these samples due to a deviation in shipping.
3ND = data not valid as sutures were not removed prior to testing

The tensile test data yielded no statistically significant (t-test) difference in graft-native tissue junction breaking strengths between the 2-week, 1-month and 6-month samples. The healing strength values obtained in this protocol for the pATM samples are comparable to healing strength for primary repair previously established in this model using human ATM.

The histology slides obtained for each biopsy (center and interface pieces) were scored by a Board Certified pathologist. The samples were blinded to the reviewer and scored for the following characteristics.

    • 1) depth of infiltration of the cells into the graft
    • 2) percent of the biopsy fully repopulated with fibroblasts
    • 3) percent of biopsy remaining acellular
    • 1) location of any vessel structures
    • 2) percent of biopsy fully re-vascularized
    • 3) size/type of vascular structure
    • 1) location of any inflammatory cells in the biopsy
    • 2) type of inflammatory cells present
    • 3) intensity of inflammatory response (significant, moderate, insignificant)
    • 1) percent of biopsy observed as new collagen (indicating remodeling)
    • 2) percent of collagen that appears organized
    • 3) alignment of collagen structure
TABLE 13A
Histological Assessment of Biopsies
Fibroblast InfiltrationRe-Vascularization
Animal% fully%%
DurationNo.DepthrepopulatedacellularLocationvascularSize
0.5 Months6147center50<5Old<5capillary
6059center50<5Old<5capillary
6113center50<5Old<5capillary
5833perimeter<1080Old<5capillary
6145center3030Old<5capillary
6175perimeter<1090Old<5capillary
  1 Month6164center>900New>90capillary
5953center500New50capillary
5929center>900New>90capillary
5930center8020New80capillary
5938center70<10New70capillary
6136center30<10New30capillary
5788center1000New100capillary
  3 Months6128center1000New100capillary
arteriole
5865center1000New>95capillary
arteriole
6176center1000New100capillary
arteriole
5965center 1000New100capillary
arteriole
5962center 1000New100capillary
arteriole
  6 Months5685center1000New100capillary
arteriole
5686center1000New100capillary
arteriole
5687center1000New100capillary
arteriole
6098centers1000New100capillary
arteriole
6100center1000New100capillary
arteriole
6103center1000New100capillary
arteriole
TABLE 13B
Histological Assessment of Biopsies
Remodeling
AnimalInflammation% new% organizedorganized
DurationNo.LocationCell TypeIntensitycollagencollagencollagen
0.56147Interfacelymphocytesmoderate<5<50
Monthseosinophil
6059centerhistiocytessignificant<5<50
PMN
6113interfacelymphocytesmoderate<5<50
eosinophil
5833interfacelymphocytesinsignificant<5<50
eosinophil
6145interfacelymphocytesmoderate<5<50
eosinophil
6175interfacelymphocytesinsignificant<5<50
eosinophil
1 Month6164centerlymphocytesinsignificant >90>90aligned
5953centerlymphocytesinsignificant3020aligned
5929centerlymphocytesinsignificant >80>80aligned
5930interfacelymphocytesmoderate8080aligned
5938centerlymphocytesinsignificant6060aligned
6136interfacelymphocytessignificant2020non-
eosinophilaligned
35788centerlymphocytesfocal>90>90aligned
Monthsgiant cellssignificant
6128centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
5865centerlymphocytesinsignificant>95>95aligned
6176centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
5965centerlymphocytesmoderate>95>95aligned
5962centerlymphocytesmoderate>90>90aligned
65685centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
Months5686centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
5687centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
6098centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
6100centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned
6103centerlymphocytesinsignificant100100aligned

At the 2-week time point, all of the grafts displayed evidence of cell infiltration. Cells were observed at the centers of 4 grafts which were judged to be predominately repopulated with cells. The remaining grafts displayed cells only at the perimeter. At the 1-month time point all of the grafts displayed cell infiltration into the center of the implant, with the majority of the grafts completely repopulated with cells. Following both 3-months and 6-months of implantation, all of the grafts were hom*ogenously repopulated with fibroblasts.

At the 2-week time point, none of the grafts displayed significant evidence of vascular structures. At the 1-month time point, all of the grafts displayed vascular structures, defined by their size as capillaries. Four of these grafts exhibited a level of greater than 70% full vascularity, while the remaining 2 grafts contained less than 50% full vascularity. By 3 months, all of the grafts displayed hom*ogenous distribution of vascular structures observed to range from capillary to arteriole in size. This outcome was also observed for the 6-month implanted grafts.

At the 2-week time point, all of the grafts displayed immune cell infiltration predominantly at the periphery of the implant. The immune cells were identified as lymphocytes and eosinophils and the response judged to be moderate in intensity in most grafts. By 1 month of implantation, immune cells (lymphocytes) were observed to infiltrate into the center of the biopsy, but the overall cellular immune response was judged to be insignificant (low cell concentration) in 4 of the grafts. One graft at the 1-month time point displayed a more significant immune cell infiltration including lymphocytes and eosinophils, but the cells were only observed at the interface. Similar outcomes were observed for the 3-month implanted grafts, with lymphocytes observed at the center of the grafts and the overall cellular immune response ranging from insignificant to moderate. One graft yielded a focal, localized infiltration of giant cells. By 6 months, all of the cellular immune response was judged to be insignificant.

At the 2-week time point, none of the grafts displayed evidence of new collagen deposition or organization. At the 1-month time point, all of the grafts displayed some new collagen deposition. Three grafts yielded >80% new collagen that was organized in an aligned orientation. The three remaining grafts displayed less new collagen (20%-60%), but in two of these samples the deposited collagen was observed to be aligned. Following both 3-months and 6-months of implantation, all of the grafts displayed evidence of 100% new collagen deposition that was both organized and aligned.

In conclusion, porcine regenerative tissue matrix was judged to be acceptable th regards to implant handling characteristics. The material was, in general, tactilely soft and pliable and able to be successfully sutured into abdominal wall defects. None of the 24 animals displayed any unusual signs of inflammation or adverse events during the lifetime of the implant.

The explanted grafts were generally soft and none yielded evidence of defects, herniation or visceral attachments. Some explanted grafts displayed evidence of wrinkling at the early time points, though this effect was completely resolved at the 3-month time point. Visual and tactile inspection, as well as mechanical evaluation of the graft-native tissue interface, indicated complete integration of the graft into the surrounding host tissue.

The histological assessment of the explanted grafts demonstrated evidence of fibroblast infiltration as early as 2 weeks and uniform cellular repopulation by 3 months. Revascularization of the grafts was minimal at 2 weeks, but appeared robust following 1 month of implantation. By 3 months of implantation, the grafts were uniformly revascularized with the presence of both capillaries and arterioles. At the 2-week time point, the grafts yielded moderate immune cell infiltration at the periphery that consisted of lymphocytes and eosinophils. Following 1 month of implantation, immune cells were observed to be uniformly distributed within the grafts, but the overall cellular immune response was judged to be insignificant. At 6 months, immune cell response to each of the grafts was considered insignificant. The grafts displayed a time-dependent increase in new collagen deposition and orientation. No new collagen was observed following 2 weeks of implantation, but by 1 month, a significant amount of new, organized collagen was evident. By 3 months, the grafts yielded 100% new collagen that was organized and aligned.

About 20 human patients were implanted with the pATM made as described above (see Example 9). Five of the implants were breast implants and the remainder ventral hernia repairs. At 2 months following implantation, all surgeons who performed the implantations and monitor the patients report very positive clinical observations, e.g., minimal inflammation, minimal seroma formation, minimal drainage (compared to their experience with the AlloDerm® product). These findings indicate that there is no evidence of xeno-rejection or foreign body response.

While the invention has been described in conjunction with the detailed description thereof, the foregoing description is intended to illustrate and not limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the scope of the appended claims. Other aspects, advantages, and modifications are within the scope of the following claims.

METHODS FOR MAKING ACELLULAR TISSUE MATRICES (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated:

Views: 5539

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.