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Biomaterials. 2012 Mar;33(9):2693-700. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.12.039. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Reconstruction of 3D stacked hepatocyte tissues using degradable, microporous poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) membranes.

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Center for System Integration Engineering, School of Integrated Design Engineering, Keio University, 3-1-14-1, Kohoku, Yokohama 223 0061, Japan.


There is great demand for constructing well-organized three-dimensional (3D) tissues in vitro. Here, we developed a 3D stacked culture method using biodegradable poly(d,l-lactide-co- glycolide) (PLGA) membranes with defined topography. Pore size and porosity of the membranes can be controlled by changing the moisture content during fabrication. The optimized membrane served as a scaffold to manipulate small hepatocyte (SH) layers when they were stacked, while it degraded after stacking, resulting in the reorganization of the cells into a 3D stacked structure. Immunofluorescent staining for domain markers of cell polarity and electron microscopy confirmed that the cells in the 3D stacked structures recovered polarity. Furthermore, the cells exhibited improved liver-specific function as compared with cells in a monolayer. This 3D stacked culture may enable reconstruction of multilayered hepatic tissues with highly differentiated functions in vitro.

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