Synthetic human livers for modeling metabolic diseases.

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In this review, we will explore recent advances in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based modeling of metabolic liver disease and biofabrication of synthetic human liver tissue while also discussing the emerging concept of synthetic biology to generate more physiologically relevant liver disease models.iPSC-based platforms have facilitated the study of underlying cellular mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies for a number of metabolic liver diseases. Concurrently, rapid progress in biofabrication and gene editing technologies have led to the generation of human hepatic tissue that more closely mimic the complexity of the liver.iPSC-based liver tissue is rapidly becoming available for modeling liver physiology due to its ability to recapitulate the complex three-dimensional architecture of the liver and recapitulate interactions between the different cell types and their surroundings. These mini livers have also been used to recapitulate liver disease pathways using the tools of synthetic biology, such as gene editing, to control gene circuits. Further development in this field will undoubtedly bolster future investigations not only in disease modeling and basic research, but also in personalized medicine and autologous transplantation.

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Authors: Edgar N Tafaleng, Michelle R Malizio, Ira J Fox, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez


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