Published online Sep 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i36.13119
Revised: March 30, 2014
Accepted: June 26, 2014
Published online: September 28, 2014
Core tip: It is meaningful to establish reversibly immortalized human hepatocytes which can be economically grown in tissue culture. Toward this goal, we successfully established a method for the reversible immortalization of human hepatocytes using Cre/loxP site-specific recombination, which may offer a good and safe source of hepatocytes for the bioartificial liver (BAL) system in the near future. If a sufficient number of human hepatocytes can be used, these extracorporeal devices will serve as successful “bridge-to-transplant”therapies. With the progress made in bioreactor development, the next-generation BAL system could reach the level of artificial kidney and save more patients.