A partnership between ASRC CUNY and Weill Cornell Medical College required a synthetic 3D-scaffold for the culture of hepatoma cell lines and primary human hepatocytes with the ultimate aim of creating a laboratory-based in vitro liver model, and for tissue engineering applications as an implantable scaffold to aid liver regeneration.
The clients wanted a synthetic 3D matrix in which the chemical functionality of the environment could be customized for maintenance of hepatocyte function and the elastic modulus could be matched to that of liver tissue.
Based on specifications from the clients, Biogelx manufactured a customised hydrogel formulation incorporating cell adhesion functionality RGD at a defined ratio. 3D hepatocyte cultures in the Biogelx hydrogel were compared directly to standard 2D hepatocyte culture models and 3D models using MatrigelTM (the market leader for 3D cell culture matrices).
It was found that for cells cultured in the customised Biogelx hydrogel, Cytochrome P450 enzyme activity levels were comparable with those cultured in Matrigel and superior to accepted standard 2D hepatocyte culture models. Similarly, gene expression for hepatic nuclear transcription factors, transporters, nuclear receptors, and most cytochrome P450 enzymes were expressed at significantly higher levels in hepatocytes cultured in Biogelx constructs compared to Matrigel and superior to accepted standard 2D models.
“Biogelx manufactured a custom formulation hydrogel to our specification, which allowed us to find the optimal environment for our system to support hepatocyte function. Being able to achieve comparable results to Matrigel using a matrix that is consistent, with no animal-derived components, offers huge advantages for the development of a robust in vitro liver model.”