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Organogenesis. 2014 Apr-Jun;10(2):216-24. doi: 10.4161/org.27968. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Multiscale tissue engineering for liver reconstruction.

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  • 1Department of System Design Engineering; Keio University; Yokohama, Japan.


The liver is a target of in vitro tissue engineering despite its capability to regenerate in vivo. The construction of liver tissues in vitro remains challenging. In this review, conventional 3D cultures of hepatocytes are first discussed. Recent advances in the 3D culturing of liver cells are then summarized in the context of in vitro liver tissue reconstruction at the micro- and macroscales. The application of microfluidics technology to liver tissue engineering has been introduced as a bottom-up approach performed at the microscale, whereas whole-organ bioengineering technology was introduced as a top-down approach performed at the macroscale. Mesoscale approaches are also discussed in considering the integration of micro- and macroscale approaches. Multiple parallel multiscale liver tissue engineering studies are ongoing; however, no tissue-engineered liver that is appropriate for clinical use has yet been realized. The integration of multiscale tissue engineering studies is essential for further understanding of liver reconstruction strategies.


3D culture; microfluidics; tissue engineering; vascularization

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