Microgravity as a means to incorporate HepG2 aggregates in polysaccharide–protein hybrid scaffold

  • P. R. Sarika
  • Nirmala Rachel James
  • P. R. Anilkumar
  • Deepa K. Raj
  • T. V. Kumary
Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


Tissue culture under microgravity provides a venue which promotes cell–cell association while avoiding the detrimental effects of high shear stress. Hepatocytes cultured on carriers or entrapped within matrices under simulated microgravity conditions showed improved cell function and proliferation. In the present study, a new approach was adopted where a non-cell adherent scaffold was incorporated with hepatospheroids (HepG2) under microgravity. Gum arabic (GA) was cross-linked with gelatin (GA-Gel) and collagen (GA-Col) to prepare non-cell adherent scaffolds. Microgravity experiments with GA-Gel and GA-Col indicated that GA-Col is a better substrate compared to GA-Gel. Microgravity experiments of GA-Col scaffolds with HepG2 cells confirmed that the non-adherent surface with porous architecture can incorporate hepatocyte spheroids and maintain liver specific functions. Albumin and urea synthesis of hepatocytes was sustained up to 6 days under microgravity conditions in the presence of GA-Col scaffold. This new approach of using non-cell adherent matrix and microgravity environment for developing biological substitutes will be beneficial in tissue engineering, bioartificial liver devices and in vitro safety assessment of drugs.


HepG2 Cell Gelation Time Microgravity Condition Simulated Microgravity Spheroid Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Authors thank The Director, IIST for the financial support and Director, SCTIMST for the facilities provided.

Supplementary material

10856_2015_5638_MOESM1_ESM.docx (241 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 241 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIndian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Govt. of IndiaThiruvananthapuramIndia
  2. 2.Tissue Culture Laboratory, Biomedical Technology WingSree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and TechnologyThiruvananthapuramIndia

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