Biliary disorders can lead to life-threatening disease and are also a challenging complication of liver transplantation. As there are limited treatment options, tissue engineered bile ducts could be employed to replace or repair damaged bile ducts. We explored how these constructs can be created by seeding hepatobiliary LGR5+ organoids onto tissue-specific scaffold. For this, we decellularized discarded human extrahepatic bile ducts (EBD) that we recellularized with organoids of different origin, that is, liver biopsies, extrahepatic bile duct biopsies, and bile samples. Here, we demonstrate efficient decellularization of EBD tissue. Recellularization of the EBD extracellular matrix (ECM) with the organoids of extrahepatic origin (EBD tissue and bile derived organoids) showed more profound repopulation of the ductal ECM when compared with liver tissue (intrahepatic bile duct) derived organoids. The bile duct constructs that were repopulated with extrahepatic organoids expressed mature cholangiocyte-markers and had increased electrical resistance, indicating restoration of the barrier function. Therefore, the organoids of extrahepatic sources are identified to be the optimal candidate for the development of personalized tissue engineered EBD constructs.

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Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Department of Surgery

Willemse, J. (Jorke), Roos, F.J.M. (Floris J. M.), Voogt, I.J. (Iris J.), Schurink, I.J. (Ivo J.), Bijvelds, M., de Jonge, H., … Verstegen, M. (2020). Scaffolds obtained from decellularized human extrahepatic bile ducts support organoids to establish functional biliary tissue in a dish. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. doi:10.1002/bit.27613