Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share many characteristics with embryonic
stem cells (ESCs), but circumvent most of the ethical issues surrounding ESCs.
The use of iPSCs to treat liver diseases is gaining increasing interest. Recent studies
show these iPSCs can be differentiated into the hepatic lineage and provide an accurate
model for liver diseases, drug screening and drug toxicity testing. Recently, the potential
application of iPSC-derived hepatocytes to be used in cell-based therapies has been explored as a novel strategy to
treat human liver disease. However, the successful use of these iPSC-derived hepatocytes hinges on overcoming the inherent
problems of using iPSC in cell-based therapies. Given these problems are addressed in the future, these iPSC derived
hepatocytes provide a limitless supply of cells that could be used to treat liver diseases not only in screening and
toxicity testing but also in cell-based therapies.
Keywords: Bio-artificial liver, cell-based therapy, disease modeling, drug screening, hepatocyte-like cells, induced pluripotent
stem cells, liver disease.
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