Application note: Evaluation of hepatic function in 3D culture

In vitro evaluation of hepatic function using a primary human hepatocyte 3D spheroid culture system

The conventional method of culturing primary human hepatocytes (PHH) in a 2-dimensional (2D) monolayer presents limitations in the study of hepatic biology, liver function, and drug-induced hepatotoxicity. Traditional 2D hepatocyte cultures dedifferentiate, resulting in the loss of specific hepatic function in approximately 5 days. We have developed and characterized a PHH 3-dimensional (3D) spheroid culture system that preserves hepatic function and promotes culture longevity.

The 3D spheroid hepatocyte culture requires a significantly lower number of cells than its 2D counterpart, allowing this system to better support high-throughput assays. Moreover, the PHH in the 3D spheroid culture are functionally viable for at least 3 weeks, enabling long-term studies of hepatocyte function.