Vascular endothelial growth factor-releasing scaffolds enhance vascularization and engraftment of hepatocytes transplanted on liver lobes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hepatocyte transplantation within porous scaffolds (HT) is being explored as a treatment strategy for end-stage liver diseases and enzyme deficiencies. One of the main issues in this approach is the limited viability of transplanted cells because vascularization of the scaffold site is either too slow or insufficient. We now address this by enhancing scaffold vascularization before cell transplantation via sustained delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and by examining the liver lobes as a platform for transplanting donor hepatocytes in close proximity to the host liver. The vascularization kinetics of unseeded VEGF-releasing scaffolds on rat liver lobes were evaluated by analyzing the microvascular density and tissue ingrowth in implants harvested on days 3, 7, and 14 postimplantation. Capillary density was greater at all times in VEGF-releasing scaffolds than in the control scaffold without VEGF supplementation; on day 14, it was 220 ± 33 versus 139 ± 23 capillaries/ mm2 (p < 0.05). Fu...

publication date

  • January 1, 2005