2018 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 17-00325
A sufficient number of functional live hepatocytes delivered to a recipient is necessary for cell therapy. Preventing cell viability loss during the cell injection process is important to improve the clinical outcomes of hepatocyte transplantation. The critical location of cell viability loss is important to identify the causal relationship between the viability loss and cell injection process. In this study, the critical location of cell viability loss was determined experimentally in a rectangular microchannel by microscopic high-speed camera observations. Live hepatocyte distributions were investigated upstream and downstream, and measured on three planes, top, center, and bottom, under horizontally or vertically supplied conditions of the syringe orientation. Sedimented and uniform dispersion conditions of the live hepatocyte distribution at upstream of the microchannel were classified according to observations at horizontal and vertical syringe orientations, respectively. Higher hepatocyte viability loss was found under the sedimented condition. The results suggested that the critical location of hepatocyte viability loss was on the bottom plane of the microchannel. Furthermore, physical causes of the hepatocyte viability loss were found by micro-scale observations of the cell velocity and diameter during the cell injection process. This information may contribute to development of a guideline for the cell injection process to improve hepatocyte transplantation.