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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v37.i4-5.40
pages 377-398

Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as a Model for Liver Disease

Hiroshi Yagi
Department of Surgery, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Edgar Tafaleng
1Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Department of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Masaki Nagaya
Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Department of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Marc C. Hansel
Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Dept.of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Dept.of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pennsylvania, USA
Stephen C. Strom
Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Dept.of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Dept.of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pennsylvania, USA
Ira J. Fox
Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Department of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez
Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Department of Surgery, Transplantation Section, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

ABSTRACT

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are human somatic cells that have been reprogrammed to a pluripotent state. Through several elegant technologies, we are now able to generate human iPS cells with disease genotypes that could serve as invaluable tools for human disease modeling. This could lead to an understanding of the root causes of a disease and to the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic strategies for it. However, we are still far from generating fully functional liver cells from stem cells, including iPS cells, on in vitro culture systems. Tissue-engineering techniques have opened the window to inducing a functional fate for differentiated cells by providing a microenvironment that allows the maintenance of signals similar to those found in the natural microenvironment. Here we review the current technology to establish iPS cells and discuss strategies to generate human liver disease modeling using iPS cell technology in concert with bioengineering approaches.