Serum-Free Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Hepatocytes

Katherine Cameron, Baltasar Lucendo-Villarin, Dagmara Szkolnicka, David C Hay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The increase in human liver disease worldwide is a major concern. At present, the only successful mode of treatment for failing liver function is organ transplantation. While highly successful, donor organs are a limited resource that cannot meet current demands. Therefore, alternative liver support strategies have been explored, including the use of the major and metabolic cell within the liver, the hepatocyte. While current approaches using human hepatocytes are very promising, donor material is still required and therefore suffers from similar limitations to whole organ transplantation. One alternative source of human hepatocytes being actively pursued in the field is pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells are a scalable and renewable cell-based resource, which can be efficiently differentiated towards hepatocytes, including pluripotent stem cell lines that have been derived under good manufacturing practice conditions. Therefore, it is believed that this approach provides a promising model system for cell scale-up and differentiation. In the future, pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes could be used in the clinic to support failing liver function if they should be deemed fit for purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProtocols in In Vitro Hepatocyte Research
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4939-2074-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-4939-2073-0
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2014

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology


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