, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 77–84 | Cite as

Comparison of esophageal submucosal glands in experimental models for esophagus tissue engineering applications

  • Amulya K. SaxenaEmail author
  • Guenther Klimbacher
Original Article



Esophagus tissue engineering holds promises to overcome the limitations of the presently employed esophageal replacement procedures. This study investigated 5 animal models for esophageal submucosal glands (ESMG) to identify models appropriate for regenerative medicine applications. Furthermore, this study aimed to measure geometric parameters of ESMG that could be utilized for fabrication of ESMG-specific scaffolds for esophagus tissue engineering applications.


Ovine, avian, bovine, murine, and porcine esophagus were investigated using Hematoxylin–Eosin (HE), Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS), and Alcian Blue (AB), with AB applied in 3 pH levels (0.2, 1.0, and 2.5) to detect sulphated mucous. Celleye® (version F) was employed to gain parametric data on ESMGs (size, perimeter, distance to lumen, and acini concentration) necessary for scaffold fabrication.


Murine, bovine, and ovine esophagus were devoid of ESMG. Avian esophagus demonstrated sulphated acid mucous producing ESMGs with a holocrine secretion pattern, whereas sulphated acid and neutral mucous producing ESMGs with a merocrine secretion pattern were observed in porcine esophagus. Distance of ESMGs to lumen ranged from 127–340 μm (avian) to 916–983 μm (porcine). ESMGs comprised 35% (avian) to 45% (porcine) area of the submucosa. ESMG had an area of 125000 μm2 (avian) to 580000 μm2 (porcine).


Avian and porcine esophagus possesses ESMGs. However, porcine esophagus correlates with data available on human ESMGs. Geometric and parametric data obtained from ESMG are valuable for the fabrication of ESMG-specific scaffolds for esophagus tissue engineering using the hybrid construct approach.


Esophagus Submucosal glands Scaffolds Tissue engineering Animal models 



This research was funded by a European Union Grant within the 6th Framework Program (EuroSTEC; LSHC-CT-2006-037409).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This work conforms to the guidelines set forth in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5), concerning Human and Animal Rights, and that all institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Conflict of interest

Both authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Esophageal Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Surgery, Chelsea Children’s Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Fdn TrustImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of General and Visceral SurgeryKepler UniversitatsklinikumLinzAustria

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