Developing in-vitro systems
Evaluating the safety of chemical compounds
Hepatocytes are the main cells of the liver and are the main cell type in the body responsible for the detoxification and metabolisation, as well as the excretion of endogenous and exogenous compounds. Liver, and in particular the hepatocyte (liver cell), represents a major target for systemic toxicity due of its unique anatomical localization and physiological function. For this reason, a lot of efforts are being focused on the development of hepatocyte-based in vitro systems that could be eligible for the safety evaluation of chemicals and drug compounds. Another prospect in regenerative medicine is engineering the liver from iPSC-derived cells for organ transplantation in end-stage human liver diseases. Transplantable hepatocytes could soon be obtainable by correcting the gene defect in iPSC-derived iHeps from skin biopsies of patients with genetically based end-stage liver disease, and this will eliminate donor liver shortage and complications of immunosuppression as challenges to the management of such patients.
Our main application, at present, is to use human PSC derived hepatocytes for toxicity tests and drug screening by utilising 3D culture systems.