Tissue-Engineered Bile Ducts for Disease Modeling and Therapy

Zhenguo Wang, João Faria, Louis C. Penning, Rosalinde Masereeuw, and Bart Spee

Published: 1 February 2021


Recent biotechnical advances in the in vitro culture of cholangiocytes and generation of bioengineered biliary tissue have a high potential for creating biliary tissue to be used for disease modeling, drug screening, and transplantation. For the past few decades, scientists have searched for a source of cholangiocytes, focused on primary cholangiocytes or cholangiocytes derived from hepatocytes or stem cells. At the same time, the development of scaffolds for biliary tissue engineering for transplantation and modeling of cholangiopathies has been explored. In this review, we provide an overview on the current understanding of cholangiocytes sources, the effect of signaling molecules, and transcription factors on cell differentiation, along with the effects of extracellular matrix molecules and scaffolds on bioengineered biliary tissues, and their application in disease modeling and drug screening.

Full Access Link: Tissue Engineering - Part C: Methods