We have developed a hepatocyte entrapment hollow fiber bioreactor for potential use as a bioartificial liver. Hepatocytes were entrapped in collagen gel inside the lumen of the hollow fibers. Medium was perfused through the intraluminal region after contraction of the hepatocyte‐entrapment gel. Another medium stream, comparable to the patient's blood during clinical application, passed through the extracapillary space. Viability of hepatocytes remained high after 5 days as judged by the rate of oxygen uptake and viability staining. Urea and albumin synthetic activities were also sustained. Transmission electron microscopic examination demonstrated normal ultrastructural integrity of hepatocytes in such a bioreactor. With its sort‐term, extracorporeal support of acute liver failure, the current bioreactor warrants further investigation. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- artificial liver
- cell entrapment‐liver, artificial