Controlled release of hepatocyte growth factor from a bovine acellular scaffold for vocal fold reconstruction

Chet C. Xu, Roger W. Chan, Debra G. Weinberger, Guy Efune, Karen S. Pawlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A bovine acellular scaffold was found to facilitate tissue remodeling in a rat model of vocal fold injury, whereas hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been shown to have an antiscarring effect in the larynx. This study examined the loading and release kinetics of HGF in vitro, and the potential of the acellular scaffold as a timed-release system for the delivery of HGF in vivo. Bilateral wounds were created in the posterior vocal folds of 20 rats, with HGF-loaded acellular scaffolds implanted into the wounds unilaterally, and scaffolds without HGF implanted into the contralateral vocal folds as control. The rats were humanely sacrificed after 3, 7, 30, and 90 days and their larynges were examined histologically and immunohistochemically. Expressions of key matrix proteins in the vocal fold coronal sections were quantified by digital image analysis. Results demonstrated a gradual, sustained release of HGF for at least 7 days in vitro, consistent with the detection of glycosaminoglycans inherent of the scaffold. In rat vocal folds implanted with HGF-loaded scaffolds, apparently fewer inflammatory cells were observed 3 days after surgery when compared to the control. The mean relative densities of collagen III and hyaluronic acid were significantly lower than those of the control 7 days after surgery. Scaffold implants were apparently degraded by 3 months in all animals, with no evidence of fibrosis or calcification. These data suggested that the bovine acellular scaffold could be promising for the exogenous delivery of select growth factors in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1347
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010


  • Biologic scaffold
  • Decellularization
  • Drug delivery
  • Inflammatory response
  • Larynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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