A bioartificial liver (BAL) employing xenogeneic hepatocytes has been developed as a potential interim support for patients in hepatic failure. For application in human therapy, the BAL requires a substantial increase in liver-specific functions. Cultivation of hepatocytes as spheroids leads to enhanced liver specific functions. We explored the possibility of entrapping spheroids into the BAL in order to improve device performance. Rat hepatocyte spheroids were entrapped in collagen gel within the lumen fibers of the BAL. The morphology and ultrastructure of collagen-entrapped spheroids resembled those of suspended spheroids formed on petri dishes. Albumin synthesis and P-450 enzyme activity were measured as markers of liver specific functions of spheroids entrapped in the BAL. At least a 4-fold improvement in these functions was observed compared to BAL devices entrapped with dispersed hepatocytes in collagen gels.