Hepatocytes are parenchymal cells of the liver responsible for drug detoxification, urea and bile production, serum protein synthesis, and glucose homeostasis. Hepatocytes are widely used for drug toxicity studies in bioartificial liver devices and for cell-based liver therapies. Because hepatocytes are highly differentiated cells residing in a complex microenvironment in vivo, they tend to lose hepatic phenotype and function in vitro. This paper first reviews traditional culture approaches used to rescue hepatic function in vitro and then discusses the benefits of emerging microfluidic-based culture approaches. We conclude by reviewing integration of hepatocyte cultures with bioanalytical or sensing approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering