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Designer human tissue: coming to a lab near you.
Hay DC, O’Farrelly C
Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) offer a scalable alternative to primary and transformed human tissue. PSCs include human embryonic stem cells, derived from the inner cell mass of blastocysts unsuitable for human implantation; and induced PSCs, generated by the reprogramming of somatic cells. Both cell types display the ability to self-renew and retain pluripotency, promising an unlimited supply of human somatic cells for biomedical application. A distinct advantage of using PSCs is the ability to select for genetic background, promising personalized modelling of human biology 'in a dish' or immune-matched cell-based therapies for the clinic. This special issue will guide the reader through stem cell self-renewal, pluripotency and differentiation. The first articles focus on improving cell fidelity, understanding the innate immune system and the importance of materials chemistry, biofabrication and bioengineering. These are followed by articles that focus on industrial application, commercialization and label-free assessment of tissue formation. The special issue concludes with an article discussing human liver cell-based therapies past, present and future.This article is part of the theme issue 'Designer human tissue: coming to a lab near you'.