Table of Contents
International Journal of Tissue Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 586493, 10 pages
Research Article

The Use of a Green Fluorescent Protein Porcine Model to Evaluate Host Tissue Integration into Extracellular Matrix Derived Bionanocomposite Scaffolds

1Department of Bioengineering, University of Missouri, 254 Agricultural Engineering, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, 1100 Virginia Avenue Columbia, MO 65212, USA

Received 30 September 2014; Accepted 10 December 2014

Academic Editor: Kimimasa Tobita

Copyright © 2015 S. E. Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


When using heterogeneous extracellular matrix (ECM) derived scaffolds for soft tissue repair, current methods of in vivo evaluation can fail to provide a clear distinction between host collagen and implanted scaffolds making it difficult to assess host tissue integration and remodeling. The purpose of this study is both to evaluate novel scaffolds conjugated with nanoparticles for host tissue integration and biocompatibility and to assess green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing swine as a new animal model to evaluate soft tissue repair materials. Human-derived graft materials conjugated with nanoparticles were subcutaneously implanted into GFP expressing swine to be evaluated for biocompatibility and tissue integration through histological scoring and confocal imaging. Histological scoring indicates biocompatibility and remodeling of the scaffolds with and without nanoparticles at 1, 3, and 6 months. Confocal microscope images display host tissue integration into scaffolds although nonspecificity of GFP does not allow for quantification of integration. However, the confocal images do allow for spatial observation of host tissue migration into the scaffolds at different depths of penetration. The study concludes that the nanoparticle scaffolds are biocompatible and promote integration and that the use of GFP expressing swine can aid in visualizing the scaffold/host interface and host cell/tissue migration.