Role of biomaterials, therapeutic molecules and cells for hepatic tissue engineering
Current liver transplantation strategies face severe shortcomings owing to scarcity of donors, immunogenicity, prohibitive costs and poor survival rates. Due to the lengthy list of patients requiring transplant, high mortality rates are observed during the endless waiting period. Tissue engineering could be an alternative strategy to regenerate the damaged liver and improve the survival and quality of life of the patient. The development of an ideal scaffold for liver tissue engineering depends on the nature of the scaffold, its architecture and the presence of growth factors and recognition motifs. Biomimetic scaffolds can simulate the native extracellular matrix for the culture of hepatocytes to enable them to exhibit their functionality both in vitro and in vivo. This review highlights the physiology and pathophysiology of liver, the current treatment strategies, use of various scaffolds, incorporation of adhesion motifs, growth factors and stem cells that can stabilize and maintain hepatocyte cultures for a long period.
Journal: Biotechnology Advances - Volume 30, Issue 3, May–June 2012, Pages 742–752