The resectable liver volume is strictly limited and this reduces the number of patients who may be treated. Recently, “tissue/organ decellularization”, a new approach in bioengineering, has been investigated for its ability to produce a native organ scaffold by removing all the viable cells. Such a scaffold may support the repair of damaged or injured tissue. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential contribution of liver scaffolds to hepatic regeneration after hepatectomy. We sutured the partial liver scaffolds onto the surfaces of partially hepatectomized porcine livers and assessed their therapeutic potential by immune histological analysis at various time points. Animals were sacrificed after surgery and the implanted scaffolds were evaluated for the infiltration of various types of cells. Immune histochemical study showed that blood vessel-like structures, covered with CD31 positive endothelial cells and ALB positive cells, were present in all parts of the scaffolds at days 10 and 28. Blood inflow was observed in some of these ductal structures. More interestingly, CK19 and EpCAM positive cells appeared at day 10. These results suggest that the implantation of a decellularized organ scaffold could promote structural reorganization after liver resection.
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