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Human hepatocyte transplantation for liver disease: Current status and future perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-240
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1-2
Early online date6 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

King's Authors


Liver transplantation is the accepted treatment for patients with acute liver failure and liver-based metabolic disorders. However, donor organ shortage and lifelong need for immunosuppression are the main limitations to liver transplantation. In addition, loss of the native liver as a target organ for future gene therapy for metabolic disorders limits the futuristic treatment options, resulting in the need for alternative therapeutic strategies. A potential alternative to liver transplantation is allogeneic hepatocyte transplantation. Over the last two decades, hepatocyte transplantation has made the transition from bench to bedside. Standardized techniques have been established for isolation, culture, and cryopreservation of human hepatocytes. Clinical hepatocyte transplantation safety and short-term efficacy have been proven; however, some major hurdles - mainly concerning shortage of donor organs, low cell engraftment, and lack of a long-lasting effect - need to be overcome to widen its clinical applications. Current research is aimed at addressing these problems, with the ultimate goal of increasing hepatocyte transplantation efficacy in clinical applications.

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