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Artif Organs. 2016 Mar;40(3):E25-38. doi: 10.1111/aor.12645. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

Decellularization and Recellularization of Rat Livers With Hepatocytes and Endothelial Progenitor Cells.

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Department of General Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.
Department of Emergency Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.
Surgical Comprehensive Laboratory, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.
Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.


Whole-organ decellularization has been identified as a promising choice for tissue engineering. The aim of the present study was to engineer intact whole rat liver scaffolds and repopulate them with hepatocytes and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in a bioreactor. Decellularized liver scaffolds were obtained by perfusing Triton X-100 with ammonium hydroxide. The architecture and composition of the original extracellular matrix were preserved, as confirmed by morphologic, histological, and immunolabeling methods. To determine biocompatibility, the scaffold was embedded in the subcutaneous adipose layer of the back of a heterologous animal to observe the infiltration of inflammatory cells. Hepatocytes were reseeded using a parenchymal injection method and cultured by continuous perfusion. EPCs were reseeded using a portal vein infusion method. Morphologic and functional examination showed that the hepatocytes and EPCs grew well in the scaffold. The present study describes an effective method of decellularization and recellularization of rat livers, providing the foundation for liver engineering and the development of bioartificial livers.


Decellularization; Endothelial progenitor cells; Extracellular matrix; Liver; Recellularization; Tissue Engineering

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