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Phenotype of hepatocyte spheroids in synthetic thermo-reversible extracellular matrix

Phenotype of hepatocyte spheroids in synthetic thermo-reversible extracellular matrix,10.1007/BF02931987,Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering,Keun

Phenotype of hepatocyte spheroids in synthetic thermo-reversible extracellular matrix  
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Aggregates of specific cells are often regarded as a better form in artificial organs and mammalian cell bioreactors in terms of cell-specific functionality. In this study, the morphology and liver-specific functions of freshly harvested primary rat hepatocytes, which were cultivated as spheroids and entrapped in a synthetic thermo-reversible extracellular matrix, were examined and compared to a control (hepatocytes in single cell form). A copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide (98 mole % in feed) and acrylic acid (poly(NiPAAm-co-AAc)), a thermo-reversible copolymer gel matrix, was used to entrap hepatocytes either in spheroids or single cells. During a 7-day culture period, the spheroids maintained higher viability and produced albumin and urea at a relatively constant rate, while the single cell culture showed a slight increase in cell numbers and a reduction in albumin secretion. Hepatocytes cultured as spheroids present a potentially useful three-dimensional cell culture system for application in a bioartificial liver device.
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