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Biomaterials. 2015 Jun;52:103-12. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.01.061. Epub 2015 Feb 21.

Ex vivo non-invasive assessment of cell viability and proliferation in bio-engineered whole organ constructs.

Author information

1
Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; Harvard Medical School, United States.
2
Harvard Medical School, United States; Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States.
3
Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; Harvard Medical School, United States; Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; Harvard Stem Cell Institute, United States. Electronic address: hott@mgh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Decellularized organ scaffolds allow whole organ regeneration and study of cell behavior in three-dimensional culture conditions. Cell viability within the bio-engineered organ constructs is an essential parameter reflecting the performance of participating cells during long-term ex vivo culture, and is a prerequisite for further functional performance. Resazurin-based redox metabolic assays have been used to monitor cell viability in both two- and three-dimensional cell cultures. Here we developed a method for monitoring cell viability and proliferation in bio-engineered organ constructs using a resazurin perfusion assay. This method allows non-invasive, repetitive and rapid estimation of viable cell numbers during long-term ex vivo culture. As a proof-of-principle, we assessed the performance of two different endothelial sources and the impact of different perfusion programs on endothelial viability after re-endothelialization of decellularized lung scaffolds. The resazurin-based perfusion assay revealed changes in endothelial viability and proliferation during long-term ex vivo culture, which was consistent with histological assessment at different time points. Finally, we showed that this method could be used for assessment of proliferation and cytotoxicity after pharmacological treatment on a three-dimensional non-small cell lung cancer culture model.

KEYWORDS:

Decellularization; Organ regeneration; Perfusion; Resazurin; Tissue engineering; Viability

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