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Cell Transplant. 2011;20(5):753-66. doi: 10.3727/096368910X536572. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Construction of a portal implantable functional tissue-engineered liver using perfusion-decellularized matrix and hepatocytes in rats.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Transplant Engineering and Immunology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Abstract

Innovative cell-based therapies, including hepatic tissue engineering following hepatocyte transplantation, are considered as theoretical alternatives to liver transplant or for partial replacement of liver function in patients. However, recent progress in hepatic tissue engineering has been hampered by low initial hepatocyte engraftment and insufficient blood supply in vivo. We developed an intact 3D scaffold of an extracellular matrix (ECM) derived from a decellularized liver lobe, with layer-by-layer (LbL) heparin deposition to avoid thrombosis, which we repopulated with hepatocytes and successfully implanted as a tissue-engineered liver (TEL) into the portal system. The TEL provided sufficient volume for transplantation of cell numbers representing up to 10% of whole-liver equivalents and was perfused by portal vein blood. Treatment of extended hepatectomized rats with a TEL improved liver function and prolonged survival; mean lifespan was extended from 16 to 72 h. At 72 h postoperation, the TEL sustained functional and viable hepatocytes. In conclusion, we propose the TEL as a state-of-the-art substitute for whole-liver transplantation and as a proof of concept for the technology that will eventually allow for the transplantation of a reconstituted liver.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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