MSc by Research Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Repair

Mathematical modelling of oxygen gradients in stem cell-derived liver tissue

New research from the Hay lab at CRM has shown how mathematical modelling can be used to optimise liver tissue engineering.

A major bottleneck in the study of human liver physiology is the provision of stable liver tissue in sufficient quantity. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) represent an attractive and scalable source of liver tissue for modelling drug efficacy; however, although liver cells can be generated from PSCs in the lab, their maturation remains problematic. It is therefore necessary to better understand the cell microenvironment including key elements of liver physiology.

A major driver of zonated liver function is the oxygen gradient that exists from periportal to pericentral regions. Research by the Hay group, published in PLoS ONE, shows that cell culture conditions for PSC-derived liver sphere systems can be optimised to recapitulate physiologically relevant oxygen gradients by using mathematical modelling.

Leedale JA, Lucendo-Villarin B, Meseguer-Ripolles J, Kasarinaite A, Webb SD, Hay DC (2021) Mathematical modelling of oxygen gradients in stem cell-derived liver tissue. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0244070. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244070