, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 279-287

Membrane-Based PDMS Microbioreactor for Perfused 3D Primary Rat Hepatocyte Cultures

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To improve primary adult rat hepatocyte cultures, two types of PDMS microbioreactors containing a membrane, used as a scaffold for the attachment of cells, were built: one with a commercially-available polyester membrane, the other with a PDMS membrane (5 × 5 μm hole sizes) made in our laboratory. In that way, the relative surface area between blood perfusion and hepatocytes seen in vivo was mimicked and as cells were bathed in both sides by the culture medium they expressed much higher functions. A new technique to build such PDMS membrane was created. With this technique we could build various PDMS membranes with down to 5 × 5 μm holes and with thickness even below 20 μm. During the fifteen days of perfusion in these microbioreactors, good cell attachment then cell reorganization was observed. Moreover compared to static cultures in tissue-culture-treated dishes and in cultures in inserts with the same polyester membranes, seven and two times increases in the albumin secretion by the cultured primary rat adult hepatocyte were demonstrated, respectively. Ammonium removal also increased 7 times in perfused cultures compared to static cultures. These new microbioreactors, which closely mimic the in vivo liver architecture, revealed themselves to be very promising tools towards future applications in drug screening or liver tissue engineering.