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Liver Tissue Engineering

Biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) or components of ECM have been successfully used in regenerative medicine for the reconstruction of functional tissues.  The tissue and organs which ECM is harvested include skin, lower urinary tract, small intestine and musculoskeletal tissues, among others. However, complex organ such as liver has not been successfully reconstructed using these matrices or any regenerative medicine approach to date. Recent studies have shown that tissue/organ specific ECMs can support site appropriate cell phenotype and lineage-directed differentiation. It is intuitive that the native 3-dimentional architecture and microenviromental niche provided by the extrocellular matrix are important for cell attachment and differentiation. By decellularizing the entire organ, most of the 3D structure of the ECM can be retained to provide a native framework for organ reconstruction.  The objective of this project is to determine the ability of a whole liver 3-D matrix to support proliferation and function of primary hepatocytes.
Current status
Bioreactor used for Decellularization and Recellularization
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Native Liver                                       Decellularized  Liver


Decellularization and Recellularization of mouse hepatocytes into rat liver ECM:
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Native Liver                                       Decellularized  Liver                      Recellulized  Liver
Future Study Areas
Function analysis of recellularized rat liver ECM with mouse hepatocytes:
Transplantation of recellularized rat liver ECM with mouse hepatocytes into mice with  liver failure.


Updated 16-May-2011