Simple and Quick Method to Obtain a Decellularized, Functional Liver Bioscaffold

Matteo Ghiringhelli, Alessandro Zenobi, Stefano Brizzola, Fulvio Gandolfi, Valentino Bontempo, Sandro Rossi, Tiziana A.L. Brevini, Fabio Acocella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of new approaches for organ transplantation has become crucial in the last years. In particular, organ engineering, involving the preparation of acellular matrices that provide a natural habitat for reseeding with an appropriate population of cells, is an attractive although technically demanding approach. We here describe a method that allows for the derivation of functional in vitro hepatic organoids and that does not require a previous selection of all the parenchymal hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells, namely, Kupffer cells, liver endothelial cells, and hepatic stellate cells. The procedure also replaces the costly standard collagenase perfusion step with a trypsin-based enzymatic digestion that results in high-yield decellularization. A combination of physical and chemical treatments through deep immersion and intraluminal infusion of two different consecutive solutions is used: (1) deionized water (DI) and (2) DI + Triton X 1% + ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH) 0.1%. This ensures the isolation of the hepatic constructs that reliably maintain original architecture and ECM components while completely removing cellular DNA and RNA. The procedure is fast, simple, and cheap and warrants an optimal organoid functionality that may find applications in both toxicological and transplantation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Decellularization
  • Hepatocyte
  • Liver bioengineering
  • Organoid
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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