Preparation and characterization of a collagen/chitosan/heparin matrix for an implantable bioartificial liver
A new type of collagen/chitosan/heparin matrix, fabricated by gelation of collagen/chitosan with heparin sodium containing ammonia, was produced to construct livers by tissue engineering and regenerative engineering. The obtained collagen/chitosan/heparin matrix was found to be highly
porous, swelled rapidly in PBS solution and was stable in vitro for at least 60 days in collagenase/lysozyme containing buffered aqueous solution (PBS, pH 7.4) at 37°C. The collagen/chitosan/heparin matrix resulted in a superior blood compatibility compared to the ammonia-treated
collagen and collagen/chitosan matrices. The morphology and behavior of the cells on the collagen/chitosan/heparin membrane were found to be similar to those on the collagen membrane but different from those on the collagen/chitosan membrane. Hepatocytes cultured on the collagen/chitosan/heparin
matrices exhibited highest urea and triglyceride secretion functions 25 days post seeding. These results suggest that this collagen/chitosan/heparin matrix is a potential candidate for liver tissue engineering.