Development of an efficient perfusion-based protocol for whole-organ decellularization of the ovine uterus as a human-sized model and in vivo application of the bioscaffolds

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A Correction to this article is available

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The main purpose of this investigation was to determine an efficient whole-organ decellularization protocol of a human-sized uterus and evaluate the in vivo properties of the bioscaffold.


Twenty-four ovine uteri were included in this investigation and were decellularized by three different protocols (n 6). We performed histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, DNA quantification, MTT assay, scanning electron microscopy, biomechanical studies, and CT angiography to characterize the scaffolds. The optimized protocol was determined, and patches were grafted into the uterine horns of eight female Wistar rats. The grafts were extracted after 10 days; the opposite horns were harvested to be evaluated as controls.


Protocol III (perfusion with 0.25% and 0.5% SDS solution and preservation in 10% formalin) was determined as the optimized method with efficient removal of the cellular components while preserving the extracellular matrix. Also, the bioscaffolds demonstrated native-like biomechanical, structural, and vascular properties. Histological and immunohistochemical evaluations of the harvested grafts confirmed the biocompatibility and recellularization potential of bioscaffolds. Also, the grafts demonstrated higher positive reaction for CD31 and Ki67 markers compared with the control samples which indicated eminent angiogenesis properties and proliferative capacity of the implanted tissues.


This investigation introduces an optimized protocol for whole-organ decellularization of the human-sized uterus with native-like characteristics and a prominent potential for regeneration and angiogenesis which could be employed in in vitro and in vivo studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report biomechanical properties and angiographic evaluations of a large animal uterine scaffold.

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Change history

  • 04 June 2019

    The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake.

  • 14 September 2019

    The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The affiliation of Fariba Ghorbani should be Tracheal Diseases Research Center (TDRC), National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


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We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Torabi for providing the organs and Mr. Reza Esmaili and Mr. Nourbakhsh for their kind cooperation during this project.


This study was funded by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (grant number 96-03-30-36497).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Abdol-Mohammad Kajbafzadeh.

Ethics declarations

All the animal procedures were approved by The Animal Ethics Committee of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine and Education Section of Basic Sciences and were performed in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Daryabari, S.S., Kajbafzadeh, AM., Fendereski, K. et al. Development of an efficient perfusion-based protocol for whole-organ decellularization of the ovine uterus as a human-sized model and in vivo application of the bioscaffolds. J Assist Reprod Genet 36, 1211–1223 (2019).

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  • Uterus
  • Infertility
  • Tissue engineering
  • Regeneration
  • Bioscaffold