Understanding Liver Fibrosis and the Role of In Vitro Models

Liver fibrosis is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a pathological overaccumulation of excess connective tissue resulting in scar formation, reduced organ function, and ultimately organ failure. The shift from appropriate wound healing to pathological fibrosis occurs as the rate of extracellular matrix deposition outstrips the rate of degradation. The causes of liver fibrosis can include chronic disease, autoimmune response, or long-term exposure to pollutants and toxins.

More on Liver Fibrosis

Symptoms of liver fibrosis may not be noticeable until the disease has progressed to cirrhosis. Diagnosis typically involves imaging tests, blood tests, and a liver biopsy. The prevalence of liver fibrosis is high, with nearly 45% of all deaths in the developed world attributed to chronic fibroproliferative diseases. It is more common in certain populations, such as those with chronic hepatitis B or C infections.

There are currently no approved treatments for liver fibrosis, but research is ongoing. In vitro models, such as the liver fibrosis assay offered by Visikol, are used to study the disease and potential treatments.

Visikol’s Liver Fibrosis Assay

In vitro models are an essential tool for researchers studying liver fibrosis. These models allow researchers to study the disease in a controlled environment, without the need for animal models or human subjects. In vitro models also allow researchers to evaluate multiple endpoints using a single sample, which can save time and resources.

One of the most significant advantages of in vitro models is the ability to use 3D cell culture models. These models incorporate a mixture of hepatocytes or hepatocyte-like cells with nonparenchymal cells (NPCs) to provide the greatest utility. 3D cell culture models offer a more accurate representation of the in vivo environment, allowing researchers to study the complex interactions between different cell types and the extracellular matrix that occur in vivo.

Visikol’s 3D cell culture models to study the disease and potential treatments. The assay analyzes gene expression via qPCR, allowing for many genes of interest to be evaluated using a single sample. The assay also offers basic and add-on endpoints, including qPCR, immunofluorescent labeling, ELISA, cytokine panels, plate reader cytotoxicity assay, and ATP assay. Dose response curves and EC50 values for select genes of interest in response to anti-fibrotic agents are provided.

The assay provides highly-validated assays with consistency and quality control processes that are available for liver models. In vitro compound screening, gene expression analysis, immunolabeling and confocal imaging of liver models, preparation and analysis of tissue sections from animal or human tissues, and advanced image processing and classification of clinical specimens using machine learning are offered. Custom drug discovery solutions are available for researchers who require a more customized approach to their drug discovery projects.

Liver fibrosis is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In vitro models, such as Visikol’s liver fibrosis assay, are an essential tool for researchers studying the disease and potential treatments. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to a member of our team today!

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