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Biomed Mater. 2012 Aug;7(4):045004. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/7/4/045004. Epub 2012 May 4.

Silk fibroin based biomimetic artificial extracellular matrix for hepatic tissue engineering applications.

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  • 1Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam 781039, India.

Erratum in

  • Biomed Mater. 2013 Aug;8(4):049501.


Hepatic tissue engineering, which aims to construct artificial liver tissues, requires a suitable extracellular matrix (ECM) for growth and proliferation of metabolically active hepatocytes. The current paper describes the development of a biomimetic artificial ECM, for hepatic tissue engineering applications, by mimicking the architectural features and biochemical composition of native ECM. Electrospinning was chosen as the fabrication technique of choice, while regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) and galactosylated chitosan (GalCS) were chosen as materials of choice. Poly(ethylene oxide) was used as a processing aid. Methodical optimization studies were performed to obtain smooth and continuous nanofibers with homogenous size distribution. Extensive characterization studies were performed to determine its morphological, physical, chemical/structural, thermal and cytotoxicity properties. Subsequently, detailed in vitro hepatocyte compatibility studies were performed using HepG2 cell line. Remarkably, the studies revealed that the growth, viability, metabolic activity and proliferation of hepatocytes were relatively superior on RSF-GalCS scaffold than on pure RSF and pure GalCS. In summary, the electrospun nanofibrous RSF-GalCS scaffold tries to mimic both architectural and biochemical features of native ECM, and hence could be an appropriate scaffold for in vitro engineering of hepatic tissue. However, additional experiments are needed to confirm the superiority in characteristic functionality of hepatocytes growing on RSF-GalCS scaffold in relation to RSF and GalCS scaffolds, and to test its behavior in vivo.

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