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Subnormothermic Preservation Maintains Viability and Function in a Porcine Hepatocyte Culture Model Simulating Bioreactor Transport

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Bioartificial liver (BAL) systems have been developed to bridge patients with acute liver failure (ALF) to liver transplantation or liver regeneration. Clinical application of BAL systems is dependent on the supportive quality of cells used and direct availability of the whole system. Reliable transport of BAL systems from the laboratory to remote treatment centers is therefore inevitable. Subsequently, preservation conditions play a crucial role during transport of a BAL, with temperature being one of the most determining factors. In this study, we assessed the effect of subnormothermic preservation on freshly isolated porcine hepatocytes cultured in monolayer under oxygenation. Additionally, the effect of the University of Wisconsin (UW) preservation solution was compared with Williams' E (WE) culture medium at 4°C. The control group was cultured for 3 days at 37°C, whereas the transport groups were cultured at 4°C, 15°C, 21°C, or 28°C for 24 h at day 2. All groups were tested each day for cell damage and hepatic functions. Subnormothermic culture (i.e., 15°C to 28°C) for a period of 24 h did not reduce any hepatic function and did not increase cellular damage. In contrast, culture of hepatocytes in WE medium and preservation in UW solution at 4°C significantly reduced hepatic function. In conclusion, freshly isolated porcine hepatocytes can be preserved for 24 h at subnormothermic temperatures as low as 15°C. Future research will focus on the implementation of the AMC-BAL in an oxygenated culture medium perfusion system for transport between the laboratory and the hospital.
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Keywords: Bioartificial liver; Cell function; Hepatocyte; Temperature; Transport

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery (Surgical Laboratory), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 2: Department of Surgery (Surgical Laboratory), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AMC Liver Center, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 3: Department of Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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