Tissue engineering is a promising approach to developing hepatic tissue suitable for the functional replacement of a failing liver. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether an extracellular cell matrix obtained from fibroblasts-cultured within scaffolds of hyaluronic acid (HYAFF) could influence the proliferation rate and survival of rat hepatocytes both during long-term culture and after in vivo transplantation. Cultures were evaluated by histological and morphological analysis, a proliferation assay and metabolic activity (albumin secretion). Hepatocytes cultured in extracellular matrix-enriched scaffolds exhibited a round cellular morphology and re-established cell-cell contacts, growing into aggregates of several cells along and/or among fibers in the fabric. Hepatocytes were able to secrete albumin up to 14 days in culture. In vivo results demonstrated the biocompatibility of HYAFF-11 implanted in nude mice, in which hepatocytes maintained small well-organised aggregates until the 35th day. In conclusion, the presence of a fibroblast-secreted extracellular matrix improved the biological properties of the hyaluronan scaffold, favoring the survival and morphological integrity of hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo.

Extracellular matrix-enriched polymeric scaffolds as a substrate for hepatocyte cultures: in vitro and in vivo studies

ZAVAN, BARBARA;BRUN, PAOLA;VINDIGNI, VINCENZO;AMADORI, ALBERTO;PONTISSO, PATRIZIA;ABATANGELO, GIOVANNI;
2005

Abstract

Tissue engineering is a promising approach to developing hepatic tissue suitable for the functional replacement of a failing liver. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether an extracellular cell matrix obtained from fibroblasts-cultured within scaffolds of hyaluronic acid (HYAFF) could influence the proliferation rate and survival of rat hepatocytes both during long-term culture and after in vivo transplantation. Cultures were evaluated by histological and morphological analysis, a proliferation assay and metabolic activity (albumin secretion). Hepatocytes cultured in extracellular matrix-enriched scaffolds exhibited a round cellular morphology and re-established cell-cell contacts, growing into aggregates of several cells along and/or among fibers in the fabric. Hepatocytes were able to secrete albumin up to 14 days in culture. In vivo results demonstrated the biocompatibility of HYAFF-11 implanted in nude mice, in which hepatocytes maintained small well-organised aggregates until the 35th day. In conclusion, the presence of a fibroblast-secreted extracellular matrix improved the biological properties of the hyaluronan scaffold, favoring the survival and morphological integrity of hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2445271
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