The Regenerative Capacity of Tissue-Engineered Amniotic Membranes

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Scaffolds can be introduced as a source of tissue in reconstructive surgery and can help to improve wound healing. Amniotic membranes (AMs) as scaffolds for tissue engineering have emerged as promising biomaterials for surgical reconstruction due to their regenerative capacity, biocompatibility, gradual degradability, and availability. They also promote fetal-like scarless healing and provide a bioactive matrix that stimulates cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. The aim of this study was to create a tissue-engineered AM-based implant for the repair of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF), a defect between the bladder and vagina caused by prolonged obstructed labor. Layers of AMs (with or without cross-linking) and electrospun poly-4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB) (a synthetic, degradable polymer) scaffold were joined together by fibrin glue to produce a multilayer scaffold. Human vaginal fibroblasts were seeded on the different constructs and cultured for 28 days. Cell proliferation, cell morphology, collagen deposition, and metabolism measured by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity were evaluated. Vaginal fibroblasts proliferated and were metabolically active on the different constructs, producing a distributed layer of collagen and proMMP-2. Cell proliferation and the amount of produced collagen were similar across different groups, indicating that the different AM-based constructs support vaginal fibroblast function. Cell morphology and collagen images showed slightly better alignment and organization on the un-cross-linked constructs compared to the cross-linked constructs. It was concluded that the regenerative capacity of AM does not seem to be affected by mechanical reinforcement with cross-linking or the addition of P4HB and fibrin glue. An AM-based implant for surgical repair of internal organs requiring load-bearing functionality can be directly translated to other types of surgical reconstruction of internal organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1448
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2024


  • amniotic membrane
  • fibrin glue
  • poly-4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB)
  • scaffold
  • tissue engineering
  • vesicovaginal fistula

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