OBJECTIVE: One of the major obstacles in applying decellularized organs for clinical use is the recellularization step, during which huge numbers of cells are required to develop whole livers. We established a simple protocol for constructing a bioartificial hepatic lobe and investigated its biocompatibility. METHODS: The right lateral lobe of porcine liver was decellularized using 0.1% sodium dodecyl sulfate through the right branch of the portal vein. Decellularized lobes were evaluated by histological and biochemical analyses. DNA content was quantified to validate the decellularization protocol. The presence of immunogenic and pathogenic antigens was checked to exclude potential rejection and thrombosis after xenotransplantation. Xeno-reactivity of decellularized tissue against human peripheral blood mononuclear cells was examined. Cytotoxicity was evaluated against hepatocarcinoma cells. Finally, scaffolds were incubated in collagenase for biodegradation testing. RESULTS: The decellularized lobe preserved the three-dimensional architecture, ultrastructure, extracellular matrix components, and vasculature. Scaffolds were almost depleted of DNA in addition to antigenic and pathogenic antigens, which are considered barriers to xenotransplantation. The human immune response against scaffolds was considered non-significant. Our matrices were biocompatible and biodegradable. CONCLUSIONS: We successfully developed a non-cytotoxic, non-immunogenic, and biodegradable porcine hepatic lobe for future liver regeneration and bioengineering.
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