An esophageal injury with significant tissue loss is very difficult to repair. We conducted an in vivo study to test our elastin based acellular biomaterial patch to repair such defect. The patch was made from porcine aorta, by decellularization and sterilization. Collagen fibers were preserved to retain mechanical strength and enhance cellular in-growth. Ten domestic pigs underwent right thoracotomy. A 2 cm circular defect was made on the distal esophagus, excising half its circumference, and was repaired using the biomaterial patch and sutures. Soon after the procedure, the animals resumed oral feeding. They were followed for clinical status, weight gain, barium studies, and endoscopic studies, and were killed after 6 weeks to 4 months. All ten animals survived long term, with a procedure success rate of 100% (10 of 10). With the exception of one pneumothorax, no complications occurred, and all animals resumed oral feeding and gained weight. Endoscopic studies showed mucosal coverage by 6 weeks, with minimal stricture at the repair site. Excised specimens showed complete mucosal coverage with regeneration of all three layers. Our biomaterial patch can be used safely and reliably for repair of esophageal injury with significant tissue loss when repaired immediately as in our experiment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering