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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1992 Dec 5;40(10):1286-91.

Oxygen uptake rates in cultured rat hepatocytes.

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Surgical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Shriners Burns Institute, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


One potential treatment of acute liver failure involves the use of an extracorporeal device composed of functional hepatocytes. A major issue in the design of such a large-scale device is providing the hepatocytes with a sufficient supply of oxygen and other nutrients. In this study, we have designed and characterized a simple perfusion system hepatocytes using this system. The OUR of hepatocytes was determined during the first day after seeding on a single collagen gel and during the long-term stable culture after the addition of a top layer of collagen. The OUR increased to 20.7 +/- 0.57 pmol/sec/microg DNA during the first 13 hours of culture on a single collagen gel, while during the next 11 hours, the OUR declined to 10.6 +/- 1.5 pmol/sec/microg DNA. In parallel with the increase in OUR during the first 10 hours, we observed significant cell spreading, suggesting that the oxygen supply to the cells may be critical for the spreading and adaptation of the anchorage-dependent hepatocytes following isolation. Addition of a top layer of collagen to hepatocyte cultures for 24 hours of culture on a single collagen layer resulted in a stable OUR for 15 days. These results indicate that OUR of hepatocytes in culture may vary depending on the phase of culture (i.e., early vs. late) and on the extracellular environment.


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