Gontran, E.; Loarca, L.; El Kassis, C.; Bouzhir, L.; Ayollo, D.; Mazari-Arrighi, E.; Fuchs, A.; Dupuis-Williams, P. Self-Organogenesis from 2D Micropatterns to 3D Biomimetic Biliary Trees. Bioengineering2021, 8, 112.
Gontran, E.; Loarca, L.; El Kassis, C.; Bouzhir, L.; Ayollo, D.; Mazari-Arrighi, E.; Fuchs, A.; Dupuis-Williams, P. Self-Organogenesis from 2D Micropatterns to 3D Biomimetic Biliary Trees. Bioengineering 2021, 8, 112.
Background & Aims: Globally, liver diseases account for 2 million deaths per year. For those with advanced liver disease the only curative approach is liver transplantation. However, less than 10% of those in need get a liver transplant due to limited organ availability. To circumvent this challenge, there has been a great focus in generating a bioengineered liver. Despite its essential role in liver functions, a functional biliary system has not yet been developed. In this framework, exploration of epithelial cell self-organogenesis and microengineering-driven geometrical cell confinement allow to envision the bioengineering of a functional biomimetic intrahepatic biliary tract. Approach: Three-dimensional (3D) bile ducts were built in vitro by restricting cell adhesion to two-dimensional (2D) patterns to guide cell self-organization. Tree shapes mimicking the configuration of the human biliary system were micropatterned on glass slides, restricting cell attachment to these areas. Different tree geometries and culture conditions were explored to stimulate self-organogenesis of normal rat cholangiocytes (NRCs) used as a biliary cell model, either alone or in coculture with human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs). Results: Pre-seeding the micropatterns with HUVECs promoted luminogenesis with higher efficiency to yield functional branched biliary tubes. Lumen formation, apico-basal polarity, and preservation of the cholangiocyte phenotype were confirmed. Moreover, intact and functional biliary structures were detached from the micropatterns for further manipulation. Conclusion: This study presents physiologically relevant 3D biliary duct networks built in vitro from 2D micropatterns. This opens opportunities for investigating bile duct organogenesis, physiopathology, and drug testing.
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