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Metab Eng. 1999 Jan;1(1):49-62.

Oxygen consumption characteristics of porcine hepatocytes.

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Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


Oxygen uptake rate (OUR) of hepatocytes is an important parameter for the design of bioartificial liver assist (BAL) devices. Porcine hepatocytes were cultured in a specially constructed measurement chamber with an incorporated mixing system and a Clark polarographic oxygen electrode. Signal noise associated with conventional Clark electrode implementations was circumvented by the combination of real time digital numerical averaging and subsequent finite impulse response (FIR) spectral filtering. Additional software allowed for the automated generation of cellular oxygen consumption coefficients, namely, Vmax and K0.5, adding a high degree of objectivity to parameter determination. Optimization of the above numerical techniques identified a 0.1 Hz/200 data point sample size and a 0.004 Hz cutoff frequency as ideal parameters. Vmax values obtained for porcine hepatocytes during the first two weeks of culture showed a maximal consumption of 0.9 nmole/sec/10(6) cells occurring on Day 4 post seeding, and a gradual decrease to 0.31 nmole/sec/10(6) cells by Day 15. K0.5 values increased from 2 mm Hg on Day 2 to 8 mm Hg by Day 8, with gradual subsequent decrease to 4 mm Hg by Day 15. The Vmax and K0.5 values measured for porcine cells were higher than maximal values for rat hepatocytes (Vmax: 0.43 nmole/sec/10(6) cells, K0.5: 5.6 mmHg) and thus may necessitate significantly altered BAL device design conditions to ensure no oxygen limitations. Finally, these results highlight the need for species specific characterization of cellular function for optimal BAL device implementations.

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