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Journal Club #9: Evaluating Decellularized ECM Hydrogels to Support Brain Organoid Culture

A recent publication from Simsa et al. in the PLOS One Journal demonstrated brain organoid formation on decellularized (DC) porcine brain extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogels evaluated by Chondrex, Inc’s glycosaminoglycan (GAG) assay kit.

Matrigel, a gelatinous protein mixture secreted by Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm mouse sarcoma cells, has frequently been used as an outer hydrogel scaffold to provide the necessary three-dimensional structural microenvironment to culture brain organoids. However, Matrigel has a different ECM-based composition than that of the native brain ECM microenvironment. Alternatively, ECM scaffolds from native brains can be prepared by DC processes which remove unneeded cells from native ECMs by chemical, physical, and enzymatical methods. These decellularized ECMs theoretically provide a more appropriate growth medium for brain organoids than commercial hydrogels. In this paper, they prepared brain ECM scaffolds using DC processes and compared the finished products to that of Matrigel.

DC protocols were evaluated for their effectiveness in removing blood and other soluble materials and optimized after comparing combinations of DNA-removing enzymes with different detergents such as sodium dodecyl sulfate, Triton X, and sodium deoxycholate (SDC). SDC proved to be the most suitable DC detergent after evaluating the quantified collagen and GAG levels in the decellularized ECMs. 

For more information, please refer to the following link.
1.    R. Simsa, T. Rothenbücher, H. Gürbüz, N. Ghosheh, J. Emneus, L. Jenndahl, D. L. Kaplan, N. Bergh, A. M. Serrano, P. Fogelstrand, Brain organoid formation on decellularized porcine brain ECM hydrogels. PLoS One. 16, e0245685 (2021).

In order to monitor the progress of ECM scaffold preparation and evaluate the finished product, it may be helpful to assay select protein or analyte levels at different time points. Chondrex, Inc. provides assay kits to analyze the levels of GAG, total and individual types of collagen, and DNA. 

Please refer to Chondrex, Inc’s website for more information.
Glycosaminoglycans Detection Kit
DNA Assay
Collagen Detection - Type I, Type II, Total Collagen
Chemokine & Cytokine Detection ELISA Kits


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