Improved biocompatibility of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) following conditioning by human endothelial cells

A. M. Woods, E. J. Rodenberg, M. C. Hiles, F. M. Pavalko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Small intestinal submucosa (SIS) is a naturally occurring tissue matrix composed of extracellular matrix proteins and various growth factors. SIS is derived from the porcine jejunum and functions as a remodeling scaffold for tissue repair. While SIS has proven to be a useful biomaterial for implants in vivo, problems associated with endothelialization and thrombogenicity of SIS implants may limit its vascular utility. The goal of this study was to determine if the biological properties of SIS could be improved by growing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) on SIS and allowing these cells to deposit human basement membrane proteins on the porcine substrate to create what we have called "conditioned" SIS (c-SIS). Using an approach in which HUVEC were grown for 2 weeks on SIS and then removed via a technique that leaves behind an intact basement membrane, we hypothesized that the surface properties of SIS might be improved. We found that when re-seeded on c-SIS, HUVEC exhibited enhanced organization of cell junctions and had increased metabolic activity compared to cells on native SIS (n-SIS). Furthermore, HUVEC grown on c-SIS released lower amounts of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin PGI2 into the media compared to cells grown on n-SIS. Additionally, we found that adhesion of resting or activated human platelets to c-SIS was significantly decreased compared to n-SIS suggesting that, in addition to improved cell growth characteristics, conditioning SIS with human basement membrane proteins might decrease its thrombogenic potential. In summary, conditioning of porcine SIS by human endothelial cells improves key biological properties of the material that may improve its usefulness as remodeling scaffold for tissue repair. Identification of critical modifications of SIS by human endothelial cells should help guide future efforts to develop more biocompatible vascular grafts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell culture
  • Endothelial cell
  • Inflammation
  • Platelet adhesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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