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Peter Spégel

Principal investigator

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Pressurized carbon dioxide as a potential tool for decellularization of pulmonary arteries for transplant purposes


  • Alicia Gil-Ramírez
  • Oskar Rosmark
  • Peter Spégel
  • Karl Swärd
  • Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson
  • Anna Karin Larsson-Callerfelt
  • Irene Rodríguez-Meizoso

Summary, in English

Vascular bio-scaffolds produced from decellularized tissue offer a promising material for treatment of several types of cardiovascular diseases. These materials have the potential to maintain the functional properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM), and allow for growth and remodeling in vivo. The most commonly used methods for decellularization are based on chemicals and enzymes combinations, which often damage the ECM and cause cytotoxic effects in vivo. Mild methods involving pressurized CO2-ethanol (EtOH)-based fluids, in a supercritical or near supercritical state, have been studied for decellularization of cardiovascular tissue, but results are controversial. Moreover, data are lacking on the amount and type of lipids remaining in the tissue. Here we show that pressurized CO2-EtOH-H2O fluids (average molar composition, ΧCO2 0.91) yielded close to complete removal of lipids from porcine pulmonary arteries, including a notably decrease of pro-inflammatory fatty acids. Pressurized CO2-limonene fluids (ΧCO2 0.88) and neat supercritical CO2 (scCO2) achieved the removal of 90% of triacylglycerides. Moreover, treatment of tissue with pressurized CO2-limonene followed by enzyme treatment, resulted in efficient DNA removal. The structure of elastic fibers was preserved after pressurized treatment, regardless solvent composition. In conclusion, pressurized CO2-ethanol fluids offer an efficient tool for delipidation in bio-scaffold production, while pressurized CO2-limonene fluids facilitate subsequent enzymatic removal of DNA.


  • Centre for Analysis and Synthesis
  • Lung Biology
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Cellular Biomechanics

Publishing year





Scientific Reports



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Lung Biology
  • Cellular Biomechanics


  • ISSN: 2045-2322