The JST-/AMED-funded consortium consortium consisting of Helios, Kuraray, Ajinomoto, Nikon, Carl Zeiss Japan and led by Yokohama City University (Profs. Hideki TANIGUCHI and Takebe TAKANORI) succeeded in developing a method for mass production. The team started from HLA homologous donor iPS cells (for research) established by CiRA, Kyoto University which are of a highly immunocompatible HLA type for Japanese. They were induced to provide hepatic progenitor cells, vascular progenitor cells and mesenchymal progenitor cells, three kinds of cells necessary for mini liver production from which a 3D human mini-liver (all-iPSC mini-liver) could be prepared. The mini-livers reconstructed vascularized liver tissue in a few days after transplantation into immunodeficient mice. Furthermore, when a large amount of mini-liver was transplanted to a model mouse which carries subacute hepatic failure, a high therapeutic effect was shown. For a mass-production process, with the aim of production of 2 × 10 sup 4 mini-liver (equivalent to 1 × 10 sup 8 hepatocytes), a special microwell culture plate is being developed with Kuraray which will allow to create homogenous miniature 100-200 μm diameter mini-livers in large quantities.

AMED news release, December 6, 2017