Composite scaffolds for the engineering of hollow organs and tissues

Daniel Eberli, Luiz Freitas Filho, Anthony Atala, James J. Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Several types of synthetic and naturally derived biomaterials have been used for augmenting hollow organs and tissues. However, each has desirable traits which were exclusive of the other. We fabricated a composite scaffold and tested its potential for the engineering of hollow organs in a bladder tissue model. The composite scaffolds were configured to accommodate a large number of cells on one side and were designed to serve as a barrier on the opposite side. The scaffolds were fabricated by bonding a collagen matrix to PGA polymers with threaded collagen fiber stitches. Urothelial and bladder smooth muscle cells were seeded on the composite scaffolds, and implanted in mice for up to 4 weeks and analyzed. Both cell types readily attached and proliferated on the scaffolds and formed bladder tissue-like structures in vivo. These structures consisted of a luminal urothelial layer, a collagen rich compartment and a peripheral smooth muscle layer. Biomechanical studies demonstrated that the tissues were readily elastic while maintaining their pre-configured structures. This study demonstrates that a composite scaffold can be fabricated with two completely different polymer systems for the engineering of hollow organs. The composite scaffolds are biocompatible, possess adequate physical and structural characteristics for bladder tissue engineering, and are able to form tissues in vivo. This scaffold system may be useful in patients requiring hollow organ replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Acellular bladder matrix
  • Bladder
  • Composite scaffolds
  • Hollow organs
  • PGA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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