Use of perfluorocarbons to enhance the performance of perfused three-dimensional hepatic cultures



Bioartificial liver devices (BALs) are extracorporeal systems designed to temporarily bridge patients until a suitable donated liver is available for transplantation and also have value for pharmaceutical testing applications. Yet critical issues exist that limit the functional performance of their current designs. One of these concerns scale up issues connected to oxygen (O2) delivery to the cells housed within their three-dimensional (3D) configurations, and its consequences to device performance. As primary blood substitute candidates with extraordinarily high O2 capacity, perfluorocarbons (PFCs) offer hope as one strategy for addressing the O2 delivery issue encountered when scaling up the tissue space of current BAL designs. This study utilizes a PFC-based second-generation O2 carrier OXYCYTE®, as an additive to regular nutrient medium, for augmenting O2 delivery in a customized 3D tissue assembly system. The results demonstrate that the addition of PFCs significantly increases the O2 capacity of regular medium and that net cytochrome P450 activity levels are considerably increased under flow in PFC-treated systems, as compared to controls. This work thus clarifies the benefits of using PFCs to enhance the functional performance of 3D liver systems. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:718–726, 2013