The formation of a spheroid of primary hepatocytes and the expression of liver-specific functions depend on the characteristics of polyurethane foam

Hiroyuki Ijima, Kohji Nakazawa, Mitsuru Kaneko, Hiroshi Mizumoto, Taku Matsushita, Tomonobu Gion, Mitsuo Shimada, Ken Shirabe, Kenji Takenaka, Keizo Sugimachi, Kazumori Funatsu

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Rapid formation of spherical multicellular aggregates (spheroids) of hepatocytes and expression of liver-specific functions are important in developing a hybrid artificial liver. The relation between these points and the surface characteristics of the culture substratum are investigated in this article. Polyurethane foam (PUF) was used as a culture substratum for hepatocytes. Rat, dog, and porcine primary hepatocytes spontaneously formed a spheroid within 1.5 days in the pores of a hydrophilic PUF with a contact angle of 53.4 ± 2.7°. Rat and dog primary hepatocytes formed a spheroid within 3 and 7 days of culture, respectively, in hydrophobic PUF with a contact angle of about 100°. The rates of albumin secretion and ammonia metabolism at 5 days of culture of porcine hepatocytes were 31 μg of albumin/106 nuclei/day and 0.018 μmol of NH3/106 nuclei/h, respectively, about 2 times higher than the values with hydrophobic PUF. It is very important to control the hydrophilicity of the PUF surface to develop an effective artificial liver module.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Artificial Organs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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