Fluid flow regulation of revascularization and cellular organization in a bioengineered liver platform Articles uri icon


  • Moran, Emma C.
  • Vyas, Dipen
  • Ribeiro, Maria H.
  • Atala, Anthony
  • Sparks, Jessica L.
  • Soker, Shay

publication date

  • March 2016


  • 3


  • 22

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1937-3384

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1937-3392


  • (copyright) Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.Objective: Modeling of human liver development, especially cellular organization and the mechanisms underlying it, is fundamental for studying liver organogenesis and congenital diseases, yet there are no reliable models that mimic these processes ex vivo. Design: Using an organ engineering approach and relevant cell lines, we designed a perfusion system that delivers discrete mechanical forces inside an acellular liver extracellular matrix scaffold to study the effects of mechanical stimulation in hepatic tissue organization. Results: We observed a fluid flow rate-dependent response in cell distribution within the liver scaffold. Next, we determined the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a mediator of fluid flow effects on endothelial cells. We observed impairment of both neovascularization and liver tissue organization in the presence of selective inhibition of endothelial NO synthase. Similar results were observed in bioengineered livers grown under static conditions. Conclusion: Overall, we were able to unveil the potential central role of discrete mechanical stimulation through the NO pathway in the revascularization and cellular organization of a bioengineered liver. Last, we propose that this organ bioengineering platform can contribute significantly to the identification of physiological mechanisms of liver organogenesis and regeneration and improve our ability to bioengineer livers for transplantation.