Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Esophageal Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel to Restore Dysregulated Microenvironment-Cell Signaling for Treatment of Pre-Malignant and Neoplastic Esophageal Disease

Saldin, Lindsey/T (2019) Esophageal Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel to Restore Dysregulated Microenvironment-Cell Signaling for Treatment of Pre-Malignant and Neoplastic Esophageal Disease. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

PDF (SaldinLT_etdPitt2018)
Primary Text

Download (18MB) | Preview


Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has a 20% five-year survival rate, and the standard of care esophagectomy has a 20% mortality and 50% morbidity. EAC pathogenesis involves dysplastic and metaplastic changes within the mucosa in response to dysregulated microenvironmental cues, i.e., gastric reflux and chronic inflammation. Extracellular matrix (ECM) is a primary component of the microenvironment that influences cell phenotype through dynamic reciprocity.

ECM bioscaffolds have been used to treat 14 EAC patients after mucosal resection resulting in preservation of esophageal function, restoration of a near normal mucosa, and no recurrence of cancer for 1-8 years. The implanted ECM bioscaffolds completely degraded within 2 weeks, suggesting that the ECM degradation products normalized cell phenotype in the post-cancer resection niche. ECM bioscaffolds can be digested by pepsin in vitro to simulate ECM degradation products, and furthermore these degradation products can be formulated as a hydrogel for clinical therapy.

The objectives of the present dissertation were to determine the effects of solubilized non-malignant, metaplastic, and neoplastic esophageal ECM upon macrophage activation and epithelial cell function, to further understand the role of ECM-cell crosstalk in EAC progression. Solubilized, non-malignant ECM hydrogel was evaluated for its potential to mitigate diseased esophageal epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo.

Metaplastic and neoplastic ECM contained distinctive matrix-bound nanovesicle (MBV) miRNA cargo and ECM protein signatures that activated macrophages toward a pro-inflammatory, TNFalpha+ state, and increased epithelial cell migration. Non-malignant esophageal ECM (eECM) hydrogel downregulated cancer cell proliferation and signaling pathways (e.g., PI3K-Akt, cell cycle/DNA replication), with a minimal effect on normal esophageal epithelial cells. eECM hydrogel treatment mitigated macroscopic esophagitis, regressed Barrett’s epithelium toward normal squamous epithelium, and downregulated the pro-inflammatory TNFalpha+ cell infiltrate in a pre-clinical, large animal model of Barrett’s esophagus. Similar results were seen with eECM hydrogel treatment in an in vivo rodent model of EAC. Finally, practical aspects of the clinical translation of eECM hydrogels were determined. eECM hydrogel mechanical properties can be tailored to facilitate oral, endoscopic, or submucosal injection delivery.

Taken together, we conclude that eECM hydrogel is a suitable therapy for esophageal disease based upon the accepted concepts of cell-matrix interactions.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Saldin, Lindsey/Tlsaldin@pitt.edulsaldin
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBadylak, Stephen/
Committee MemberDavidson, Lancelad43@pitt.edulad43
Committee MemberDonnenberg, Veravesst7@pitt.eduvesst7
Committee MemberGhajar,
Committee MemberRoy, Parthapar19@pitt.edupar19
Date: 24 January 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 August 2018
Approval Date: 24 January 2019
Submission Date: 16 November 2018
Access Restriction: 3 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 3 years.
Number of Pages: 293
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: extracellular matrix, decellularization, hydrogel, tissue engineering, cell-matrix interactions, esophageal cancer
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 06:00
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 06:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item