Arterial obstruction in small diameter (<6 mm) vessels are many times treated with grafts, however autologous aren’t always available and synthetic have a high rate of complications. Decellularization of umbilical arteries may provide a solution, but the ideal method is debatable. We compare effectiveness between SDS and Triton X-100. Umbilical cords obtained from full term pregnancies with normal development and no evident complications in the newborn, were micro-dissected within 12 h and stored in phosphate buffered saline without freezing. Arteries were then processed for decellularization using 0.1 % and 1 % SDS, and 1 % Triton X- 100 protocols. Evaluation of cellular and nuclear material, collagen fibers, elastic fibers, and glycosoaminoglycans of the extracellular matrix (ECM) were evaluated as well as morphometric analysis under histological and immunohistochemical techniques. Triton X-100 was ineffective, preserving nuclear remains identified by immunofluorescence, had the most notable damage to elastic fibers, and decrease in collagen. SDS effectively eliminated the nuclei and had a less decrease in elastic fibers and collagen. Laminin was preserved in all groups. No significant differences were identified in luminal diameters; however the middle layer decreased due to decellularization of muscle cells. In conclusion, 0.1 % SDS decellularization was the most effective in eliminating cells and preserving the main components of the ECM.
KEY WORDS: Decellularization; Umbilical artery; Vascular graft; Extracellular matrix.