Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 107–118 | Cite as

Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Liver Diseases: An Overview and Update

  • Jie Wang
  • Meiyan Sun
  • Wei Liu
  • Yan Li
  • Miao LiEmail author
Review Article



Liver disease is one of the top causes of death globally. Although liver transplantation is a very effective treatment strategy, the shortage of available donor organs, waiting list mortality, and high costs of surgery remain huge problems. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types. Scientists are exploring the possibilities of generating hepatocytes from stem cells as an alternative for the treatment of liver diseases.


In this review, we summarized the updated researches in the field of stem cell-based therapies for liver diseases as well as the current challenges and future expectations for a successful cell-based liver therapy.


Several cell types have been investigated for liver regeneration, such as embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, liver stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and hematopoietic stem cells. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that stem cells are promising cell sources for the liver regeneration.


Stem cell-based therapy could be a promising therapeutic method for patients with end-stage liver disease, which may alleviate the need for liver transplantation in the future.


Stem cells Liver disease Stem cell-based therapy Liver regeneration 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Fund of the People’s Republic of China (No. 81771304), the National Natural Science Youth Fund of the People’s Republic of China (No. 81601234 and No. 81601073), and the Health Special Fund of Jilin Province, China (SCZSY201616) and the Science and Technology Innovation Development Fund of Jilin (No. 201750246).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Ethical approval

There are no animal experiments carried out for this article.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Wang
    • 1
  • Meiyan Sun
    • 2
  • Wei Liu
    • 2
  • Yan Li
    • 2
  • Miao Li
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Medical Examination CollegeJilin Medical UniversityChangchun, JilinChina
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryThe China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunChina

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