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Open Access Human-Scale Whole-Organ Bioengineering for Liver Transplantation: A Regenerative Medicine Approach

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At this time, the only definitive treatment of hepatic failure is liver transplantation. However, transplantation has been limited by the severely limited supply of human donor livers. Alternatively, a regenerative medicine approach has been recently proposed in rodents that describe the production of three-dimensional whole-organ scaffolds for assembly of engineered complete organs. In the present study, we describe the decellularization of porcine livers to generate liver constructs at a scale that can be clinically relevant. Adult ischemic porcine livers were successfully decellularized using a customized perfusion protocol, the decellularization process preserved the ultrastructural extracellular matrix components, functional characteristics of the native microvascular and the bile drainage network of the liver, and growth factors necessary for angiogenesis and liver regeneration. Furthermore, isolated hepatocytes engrafted and reorganized in the porcine decellularized livers using a human-sized organ culture system. These results provide proof-of-principle for the generation of a human-sized, three-dimensional organ scaffold as a potential structure for human liver grafts reconstruction for transplantation to treat liver disease.
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Keywords: Bile duct; Bioengineering in organ transplantation; Decellularization; Liver tissue engineering; Porcine liver; Regenerative medicine; Whole-organ scaffold

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2013-02-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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