Intramuscular transplantation of engineered hepatic tissue constructs corrects acute and chronic liver failure in mice

Nalu Navarro-Alvarez, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, Yong Chen, Jose Caballero-Corbalan, Wael Hassan, Satoru Kobayashi, Yoshitaka Kondo, Masaya Iwamuro, Kazuhide Yamamoto, Eisaku Kondo, Noriaki Tanaka, Ira J. Fox, Naoya Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background & Aims: Transplantation of isolated hepatocytes holds great promise as an alternative to whole organ liver transplantation. For treatment of liver failure, access to the portal circulation has significant risks and intrahepatic hepatocyte engraftment is poor. In advanced cirrhosis, transplantation into an extrahepatic site is necessary and intrasplenic engraftment is short-lived. Strategies that allow repeated extrahepatic infusion of hepatocytes could improve the efficacy and safety of hepatocyte transplantation for the treatment of liver failure. Methods: A non-immunogenic self-assembling peptide nanofiber (SAPNF) was developed as a three-dimensional scaffold and combined with growth factors derived from a conditionally immortalized human hepatocyte cell line to engineer a hepatic tissue graft that would allow hepatocyte engraftment outside the liver. Results: The hepatic tissue constructs maintained hepatocyte-specific gene expression and functionality in vitro. When transplanted into skeletal muscle as an extrahepatic site for engraftment, the engineered hepatic grafts provided life-saving support in models of acute, fulminant, and chronic liver failure that recapitulates these clinical diseases. Conclusions: SAPNF-engineered hepatic constructs engrafted and functioned as hepatic tissues within the muscle to provide life-sustaining liver support. These engineered tissue constructs contained no animal products that would limit their development as a therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Acute liver failure
  • Chronic liver failure
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Hepatic tissue engineering
  • Hepatocyte transplantation
  • Hepatocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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