Improved hepatocyte in vitro maintenance in a culture model with woven multicompartment capillary systems: Electron microscopy studies



Primary pig hepatocytes form a tissuelike structure in an in vitro culture model that has provision for threedimensional cell orientation, cell aggregation, decentralized cell perfusion with low metabolite gradients, integral oxygenation, and nonparenchymal cell coculture. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has shown that hepatocytes spontaneously form aggregates in a three-dimensional structure between and on the surface of artificial capillaries. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has shown that after 7 weeks of in vitro perfusion, the cell ultrastructure remains similar to that of the parenchyma in vivo. Golgi complexes, active membrane processes, reorganization of cell junctions, and bile canaliculi-like intercellular spaces were demonstrated.(Hepatology 1995; 22:546–552.)