Decellularized human liver as a natural 3D-scaffold for liver bioengineering and transplantation

Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 7;5:13079. doi: 10.1038/srep13079.


Liver synthetic and metabolic function can only be optimised by the growth of cells within a supportive liver matrix. This can be achieved by the utilisation of decellularised human liver tissue. Here we demonstrate complete decellularization of whole human liver and lobes to form an extracellular matrix scaffold with a preserved architecture. Decellularized human liver cubic scaffolds were repopulated for up to 21 days using human cell lines hepatic stellate cells (LX2), hepatocellular carcinoma (Sk-Hep-1) and hepatoblastoma (HepG2), with excellent viability, motility and proliferation and remodelling of the extracellular matrix. Biocompatibility was demonstrated by either omental or subcutaneous xenotransplantation of liver scaffold cubes (5 × 5 × 5 mm) into immune competent mice resulting in absent foreign body responses. We demonstrate decellularization of human liver and repopulation with derived human liver cells. This is a key advance in bioartificial liver development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioengineering / methods*
  • Biomedical Engineering / methods
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / cytology
  • Hepatoblastoma / pathology
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / methods*