Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 349–355

Long-term liver cell cultures in bioreactors and possible application for liver support

  • J.C. Gerlach

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007447710934

Cite this article as:
Gerlach, J. Cell Biol Toxicol (1997) 13: 349. doi:10.1023/A:1007447710934


Hybrid artificial liver systems are being developed as a temporary extracorporeal liver support therapy. A short overview is given which emphasizes the development of hepatocyte culture models for bioreactors, subsequent in vitro studies, animal studies and the clinical application of hybrid liver support systems.

An own bioreactor construction has been designed for the utilization of hepatocytes and sinusoidal endothelial cells. The reactor is based on capillaries for hepatocyte aggregate immobilization, coated with biomatrix. Four separate capillary membrane systems, each permitting a different function, are woven in order to create a three-dimensional network. Cells are perfused via independent capillary membrane compartments. Decentralized oxygen supply and carbon dioxide removal with low gradients is possible. There is a decentralized co-culture compartment for nonparenchymal liver cells. The use of identical parallel units to supply a few hepatocytes facilitates scale-up.

artificial liverhybrid liverbioartificial liverliver supporthuman hepatocytespig hepatocytessinusoidal endothelial cellsculture modelsoxygenationbioreactorsanimal model of liver failureimmunoisolationclinical case report

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.C. Gerlach
    • 1
  1. 1.Chirurgische Klinik, Virchow-Klinikum, HumboldtUniversität BerlinGermany