In-vivo organ engineering: Perfusion of hepatocytes in a single liver lobe scaffold of living rats.
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Organ decellularization is emerging as a promising regenerative medicine approach as it is able to provide an acellular, three-dimensional biological scaffold material that can be seeded with living cells for organ reengineering. However this application is currently limited to donor-derived decellularized organs for reengineering in vitro and no study has been conducted for re-engineering the decellularized organ in vivo. We developed a novel technique of a single liver lobe decellularization in vivo in live animals. Using a surgical method to generate a by-pass circulation through the portal vein and infra-hepatic vena cava with a perfusion chamber system, we decellularized the single liver lobe and recellularized it with allogenic primary hepatocytes. Our results showed that the decellularization process in vivo can preserve the vascular structural network and functional characteristics of the native liver lobe. It allows for efficient recellularization of the decellularized liver lobe matrix with allogenic primary hepatocytes. Upon the re-establishment of blood circulation, the recellularized liver lobe is able to gain the function and the allogenic hepatocytes are able to secret albumin. Our findings provide a proof of principle for the in vivo reengineering of liver.
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