We developed a simple and inexpensive method of perfusing small specimens of human liver in vitro that maintains short-term tissue viability as judged by protein transport function and morphological features. The technique allows investigation of liver function at the cellular level in normal specimens and those with hepatobiliary disease. Electron microscopy of specimens perfused with this system demonstrates the presence of an incomplete basement membrane within the space of Disse and shows that human microbodies contain crystalline-like cores morphologically similar to those found in rat liver.
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