Engineering liver therapies for the future.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Tissue Eng, Volume 8, Issue 5, p.725-37 (2002)


Animals, Forecasting, Hepatocytes, Humans, Liver Diseases, Liver Transplantation, Phenotype, Swine, Tissue Engineering


<p>Treatment of liver disease has been greatly improved by the advent and evolution of liver transplantation. However, as demand for donor organs continues to increase beyond their availability, the need for alternative liver therapies is clear. Several approaches including extracorporeal devices, cell transplantation, and tissue-engineered constructs have been proposed as potential adjuncts or even replacements for transplantation. Simultaneously, experience from the liver biology community have provided valuable insight into tissue morphogenesis and in vitro stabilization of the hepatocyte phenotype. The next generation of cellular therapies must therefore consider incorporating cell sources and cellular microenvironments that provide both a large population of cells and strategies to maintain liver-specific functions over extended time frames. As cell-based therapies evolve, their success will require contribution from many diverse disciplines including regenerative medicine, developmental biology, and transplant medicine.</p>