.. Three-dimensional scaffolds composed of biodegradable materials can provide platforms selleckchem Idelalisib for hepatocyte attachment (Fig. 1B). Fetal liver cells seeded in poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) 3D macroporous scaffolds formed small clusters and showed higher levels of hepatic function, comparable with those of adult hepatocytes.21 Similarly, colonies of small hepatocytes (SHs), hepatic progenitor cells, placed on a collagen sponge with NPCs proliferated and expanded to form a hepatic organoid with highly differentiated functions.22 Hepatocytes seeded on PLLA and/or poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) sponges were engrafted when they were implanted at a site associated with abundant vascular networks with appropriate surgical stimulation.
23,24 Both approaches for liver tissue reconstruction thus seems efficacious, since cell behavior can be controlled using materials with various structural and functional properties. However, these earlier studies using ECM or scaffold-based designs to engineer tissues face a major drawback, poor cell density. In native liver tissue, cell density is significantly higher, compared with other tissues, such as bone and cartilage. Accordingly, hepatocytes within native liver tightly interconnect to form layered structures, termed hepatic plates. Additionally, there is only a slight gap between hepatocytes and liver sinusoids, liver-specific microvessels, facilitating rapid exchange of macromolecules between plasma and hepatocytes. Thus, cell-sparse constructs engineered with those scaffolds often do not closely resemble the native liver architecture.
In contrast to earlier studies using ECM or biodegradable materials, scaffold-less cell-sheet engineering has been proposed for construction of 3D cell-dense liver tissue (Fig. 1C). For example, culture dishes, the surfaces of which were modified with a temperature-responsive polymer, have been used. Using such temperature-responsive culture surfaces, hepatocytes can be harvested as intact sheets and cell-dense thick tissues can be constructed by layering these cell sheets.25,26 However, a highly complex fabrication process is needed to covalently graft the temperature-responsive polymer onto dish surfaces27 and it also takes more than 30 min to harvest a cell sheet.28 Magnetite cationic liposomes have been also used to label cells and to form multilayered sheet architectures.
A magnetic field is then used to accumulate the magnetically-labeled cells onto ultralow attachment culture surfaces and form multilayered sheets.29 Entinostat Cells can be harvested readily as intact cell sheets by pipetting. However, when this method was applied to hepatocytes, the sheets were not sufficiently strong for recovery.30 Furthermore, because cells have to be harvested as an intact sheet in the two methods above, it is difficult to construct the complex 3D liver architectures that are made from smaller tissue units.