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主题:Development of an automated tissue-engineering platform to produce human liver tissue for basic and applied research

Prof David C. Hay, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh


Liver disease is an escalating global health issue. While liver transplantation is an effective mode of therapy, it cannot meet clinical demand. Developing renewable sources of human liver tissue is therefore attractive. Pluripotent stem cell-derived liver tissue represents a potential alternative to cadaver derived hepatocytes and whole organ transplant. At present, two dimensional differentiation procedures deliver tissue lacking certain functions and is unstable in culture. Efforts to overcome these limitations include the engineering of three-dimensional (3D) liver spheres. Although enabling for the field, their widespread application and adoption is limited due to expense and experimental reproducibility. To address this issue, we have developed an automated and economical platform to produce liver tissue at scale for modelling disease and small molecule screening. We demonstrate that stem cell derived 3D liver tissue exhibits stable phenotype, providing an attractive resource for long-term modelling studies. Going forward we believe that this resource may also have an important roles to play in supporting failing liver function in humans.

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