Robust generation of hepatocyte-like cells from human embryonic stem cell populations

Claire N Medine, Baltasar Lucendo-Villarin, Wenli Zhou, Christopher C West, David C Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite progress in modelling human drug toxicity, many compounds fail during clinical trials due to unpredicted side effects. The cost of clinical studies are substantial, therefore it is essential that more predictive toxicology screens are developed and deployed early on in drug development (Greenhough et al 2010). Human hepatocytes represent the current gold standard model for evaluating drug toxicity, but are a limited resource that exhibit variable function. Therefore, the use of immortalised cell lines and animal tissue models are routinely employed due to their abundance. While both sources are informative, they are limited by poor function, species variability and/or instability in culture (Dalgetty et al 2009). Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are an attractive alternative source of human hepatocyte like cells (HLCs) (Medine et al 2010). PSCs are capable of self renewal and differentiation to all somatic cell types found in the adult and thereby represent a potentially inexhaustible source of differentiated cells. We have developed a procedure that is simple, highly efficient, amenable to automation and yields functional human HLCs (Hay et al 2008 ; Fletcher et al 2008 ; Hannoun et al 2010 ; Payne et al 2011 and Hay et al 2011). We believe our technology will lead to the scalable production of HLCs for drug discovery, disease modeling, the construction of extra-corporeal devices and possibly cell based transplantation therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2969
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
Issue number56
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Animals
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Hepatocytes
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust generation of hepatocyte-like cells from human embryonic stem cell populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this