The metabolic activity of freshly isolated hepatocytes is most similar to that of the intact tissue. As a result, many researchers use hepatocytes immediately after isolation for short and long term assays. Lonza provides fresh hepatocytes from human and many pre-clinical animal species.
Freshly Isolated Human Hepatocytes
Human hepatocytes are isolated normally from whole organs donated for research purposes. Lonza has established a network of sources for non-transplantable organs. All whole liver tissues that we receive are not transplantable and the donor or next of kin has consented to donating their tissue for research applications. Lonza only receives liver tissue from approved and US government regulated sources under the strictest ethical guidelines.
Freshly Isolated Animal Hepatocytes
Freshly isolated hepatocytes from animals such as rodents are routinely supplied by Lonza most weeks. Check the calendar on our Fresh Heps Portal for the most up-to-date information. Freshly isolated hepatocytes from beagle dog and cynomolgous or rhesus monkeys can be supplied on a made-to-order basis. Visit our Fresh heps portal to submit a request.
It was formerly believed that only freshly isolated hepatocytes would reflect the appropriate metabolism, but advancements in cryopreservation techniques now allow metabolic reactions to proceed following the recovery of cryopreserved cells. Cryopreservation also allows researchers to prequalify functionality of hepatocytes from specific donors. By purchasing large numbers of vials from the same batch, researchers enable more streamlined and convenient use of hepatocytes in routine standardized studies. Cryopreservation was also key to overcoming the historical limited availability of human hepatocytes.
Cryopreserved hepatocytes are also supplied with a large amount of characterization data compared to fresh hepatocytes. The table below shows the different characterizations performed for each format.