Although the use of primary hepatocytes in cell culture is an established technology, there are still limitations. When the liver tissue is disrupted as part of the hepatocyte isolation and purification procedure, the hepatocytes begin to rapidly lose their identity, causing the metabolic activity and functions of the cells to decline. As a result, hepatocytes tend to under predict clinical pharmacokinetics.
Getting Started with Hepatocytes in 3D: Verified for SpheroidsTM Human Hepatocytes
Studies have shown that the formation of multicellular hepatocyte spheroids in 3D culture is a promising approach for enhancing liver-specific functions. Hepatocytes cultured in spheroids exhibit polarized cell structures and direct cell-cell contact, and importantly, can maintain steady metabolic function for more than 14 days. This approach also enables the self-assembly of multiple liver cell types, creating a pseudo microtissue that better mimics the in vivo hepatocyte environment.