Cultures of hepatocytes in spheroid form are known to maintain higher cell viability and exhibit better hepatocyte functions than those in monolayer cultures. In this study, a method for the formation of hepatocyte spheroids was developed using biodegradable polymer nanospheres. The addition of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanospheres to hepatocyte cultures in spinner flasks increased the efficiency of hepatocyte spheroid formation (the number of cells in spheroids divided by the total cell number) as compared with hepatocyte cultures without nanospheres (control). The viability and mitochondrial activity of the hepatocyte spheroids in the nanosphere-added cultures were significantly higher than those in the control. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of albumin and phenylalanine hydroxylase, both of which are hepatocyte-specific proteins, were significantly higher in the nanosphere-added cultures than in the control. This new culture method improves upon the conventional method of forming hepatocyte spheroids in terms of spheroid formation efficiency, cell viability, and hepatocyte function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Biomedical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys