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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (6)

Articles by Elizabeth A. Calle in JoVE

 JoVE Bioengineering

Procedure for Lung Engineering

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Duke University, 3Department of Anesthesia, Yale University


JoVE 2651

We have developed a decellularized lung extracellular matrix and novel biomimetic bioreactor that can be used to generate functional lung tissue. By seeding cells into the matrix and culturing in the bioreactor, we generate tissue that demonstrates effective gas exchange when transplanted in vivo for short periods of time.

Other articles by Elizabeth A. Calle on PubMed

Trunk Muscle Response to Various Protocols of Lumbar Traction

The purpose of this study was to compare trunk muscle activity, spinal decompression force, and trunk flexibility resulting from various protocols of spinal traction. Four experiments explored the effects of (1) sinusoidal, triangular, square, and continuous distraction-force waveforms, (2) 0, 10, 20, and 30 degrees of pull angle, (3) superimposed low, medium and high frequency force oscillations, and (4) sham traction. Nineteen healthy subjects volunteered for this study. Surface EMG was recorded during traction and later used in a biomechanical model to estimate spine decompression force. Trunk flexibility was measured before and after each treatment. There were no differences in muscle activity between any of the experimental conditions except the thoracic erector spinae muscle, which had lower EMG during continuous compared to sinusoidal distraction-force waveform (p=0.02). Thoracic and lumbar erector spinae muscles were significantly less active during sham than real traction (p=0.01 and p=0.04, respectively). The estimated L4-L5 spine compression force was 25N. Trunk flexibility decreased after each experimental session (p=0.01), and there were no differences between sessions. Our results suggest that the trunk muscle activity is minimal and point toward fluid exchange in the disc as one of the key biomechanical effects of spinal traction.

Utility of Telomerase-pot1 Fusion Protein in Vascular Tissue Engineering

While advances in regenerative medicine and vascular tissue engineering have been substantial in recent years, important stumbling blocks remain. In particular, the limited life span of differentiated cells that are harvested from elderly human donors is an important limitation in many areas of regenerative medicine. Recently, a mutant of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase enzyme (TERT) was described, which is highly processive and elongates telomeres more rapidly than conventional telomerase. This mutant, called pot1-TERT, is a chimeric fusion between the DNA binding protein pot1 and TERT. Because pot1-TERT is highly processive, it is possible that transient delivery of this transgene to cells that are utilized in regenerative medicine applications may elongate telomeres and extend cellular life span while avoiding risks that are associated with retroviral or lentiviral vectors. In the present study, adenoviral delivery of pot1-TERT resulted in transient reconstitution of telomerase activity in human smooth muscle cells, as demonstrated by telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP). In addition, human engineered vessels that were cultured using pot1-TERT-expressing cells had greater collagen content and somewhat better performance in vivo than control grafts. Hence, transient delivery of pot1-TERT to elderly human cells may be useful for increasing cellular life span and improving the functional characteristics of resultant tissue-engineered constructs.

Enabling Tools for Engineering Collagenous Tissues Integrating Bioreactors, Intravital Imaging, and Biomechanical Modeling

Many investigators have engineered diverse connective tissues having good mechanical properties, yet few tools enable a global understanding of the associated formation of collagen fibers, the primary determinant of connective tissue stiffness. Toward this end, we developed a biomechanical model for collagenous tissues grown on polymer scaffolds that accounts for the kinetics of polymer degradation as well as the synthesis and degradation of multiple families of collagen fibers in response to cyclic strains imparted in a bioreactor. The model predicted well both overall thickness and stress-stretch relationships for tubular engineered vessels cultured for 8 weeks, and suggested that a steady state had not yet been reached. To facilitate future refinements of the model, we also developed bioreactors that enable intravital nonlinear optical microscopic imaging. Using these tools, we found that collagen fiber alignment was driven strongly by nondegraded polymer fibers at early times during culture, with subsequent mechano-stimulated dispersal of fiber orientations as polymer fibers degraded. In summary, mathematical models of growth and remodeling of engineered tissues cultured on polymeric scaffolds can predict evolving tissue morphology and mechanics after long periods of culture, and related empirical observations promise to further our understanding of collagen matrix development in vitro.

Tissue-engineered Lungs for in Vivo Implantation

Because adult lung tissue has limited regeneration capacity, lung transplantation is the primary therapy for severely damaged lungs. To explore whether lung tissue can be regenerated in vitro, we treated lungs from adult rats using a procedure that removes cellular components but leaves behind a scaffold of extracellular matrix that retains the hierarchical branching structures of airways and vasculature. We then used a bioreactor to culture pulmonary epithelium and vascular endothelium on the acellular lung matrix. The seeded epithelium displayed remarkable hierarchical organization within the matrix, and the seeded endothelial cells efficiently repopulated the vascular compartment. In vitro, the mechanical characteristics of the engineered lungs were similar to those of native lung tissue, and when implanted into rats in vivo for short time intervals (45 to 120 minutes) the engineered lungs participated in gas exchange. Although representing only an initial step toward the ultimate goal of generating fully functional lungs in vitro, these results suggest that repopulation of lung matrix is a viable strategy for lung regeneration.

Bioreactor for the Long-term Culture of Lung Tissue

In this article we describe the design and validation of a bioreactor for the in vitro culture of whole rodent lung tissue. Many current systems only enable large segments of lung tissue to be studied ex vivo for up to a few hours in the laboratory. This limitation restricts the study of pulmonary biology in controlled laboratory settings, and also impacts the ability to reliably culture engineered lung tissues in the laboratory. Therefore, we designed, built, and validated a bioreactor intended to provide sufficient nutrient supply and mechanical stimulation to support cell survival and differentiation in cultured lung tissue. We also studied the effects of perfusion and ventilation on pulmonary cell survival and maintenance of cell differentiation state. The final bioreactor design described herein is capable of supporting the culture of whole native lung tissue for up to 1 week in the laboratory, and offers promise in the study of pulmonary biology and the development of engineered lung tissues in the laboratory.

Matrix Composition and Mechanics of Decellularized Lung Scaffolds

The utility of decellularized native tissues for tissue engineering has been widely demonstrated. Here, we examine the production of decellularized lung scaffolds from native rodent lung using two different techniques, principally defined by use of either the detergent 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPS) or sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). All viable cellular material is removed, including at least 99% of DNA. Histochemical staining and mechanical testing indicate that collagen and elastin are retained in the decellularized matrices with CHAPS-based decellularization, while SDS-based decellularization leads to loss of collagen and decline in mechanical strength. Quantitative assays confirm that most collagen is retained with CHAPS treatment but that about 80% of collagen is lost with SDS treatment. In contrast, for both detergent methods, at least 60% of elastin content is lost along with about 95% of native proteoglycan content. Mechanical testing of the decellularized scaffolds indicates that they are mechanically similar to native lung using CHAPS decellularization, including retained tensile strength and elastic behavior, demonstrating the importance of collagen and elastin in lung mechanics. With SDS decellularization, the mechanical integrity of scaffolds is significantly diminished with some loss of elastic function as well. Finally, a simple theoretical model of peripheral lung matrix mechanics is consonant with our experimental findings. This work demonstrates the feasibility of producing a decellularized lung scaffold that can be used to study lung matrix biology and mechanics, independent of the effects of cellular components.

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