Morphological and functional behaviors of rat hepatocytes cultured on single-walled carbon nanotubes

  • Haruka Koga
  • Tsuyohiko Fujigaya
  • Naotoshi Nakashima
  • Kohji Nakazawa


This study describes the morphological and functional behaviors of rat hepatocytes on single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT)-coated surfaces. Although the hydrophobic characteristics of CNT-coated surfaces increased with increasing CNT density, hepatocyte adhesion decreased, indicating that the interaction between hepatocytes and CNTs is weak. We found that hepatocytes on a CNT-coated surface gradually gather together and form spheroids (spherical multicellular aggregates). These spheroids exhibit compact spherical morphology with a smooth surface and express connexin-32, an intracellular communication molecule. In contrast, collagen treatment in conjunction with the CNT-coated surface improved hepatocyte adhesion, and the cells maintained a monolayer configuration throughout the culture period. The albumin secretion and ammonia removal activities of hepatocyte spheroids were maintained at elevated levels for at least 15 days of culturing as compared with hepatocyte monolayers. These results indicate that CNTs can be used for the formation and long-term culture of hepatocyte spheroids.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haruka Koga
    • 1
  • Tsuyohiko Fujigaya
    • 2
  • Naotoshi Nakashima
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kohji Nakazawa
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Life and Environment EngineeringThe University of KitakyushuKitakyushuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.JST-CRESTTokyoJapan

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