Int J Stem Cells.  2019 Jul;12(2):183-194. 10.15283/ijsc18055.

Regenerative Medicine of the Bile Duct: Beyond the Myth

  • 1Department of Translational Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3HY Indang Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.


Cholangiopathies are rare diseases of the bile duct with high mortality rates. The current treatment for cholangiopathies is liver transplantation, but there are significant obstacles including a shortage of donors and a high risk of complications. Currently, there is only one available medicine on the market targeting cholangiopathies, and the results have been inadequate in clinical therapy. To overcome these obstacles, many researchers have used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) as a source for cholangiocyte-like cell generation and have incorporated advances in bioprinting to create artificial bile ducts for implantation and transplantation. This has allowed the field to move dramatically forward in studies of biliary regenerative medicine. In this review, the authors provide an overview of cholangiocytes, the organogenesis of the bile duct, cholangiopathies, and the current treatment and advances that have been made that are opening new doors to the study of cholangiopathies.


Cholangiocytes; Cholangiopathies; Biliary regeneration; Human derived pluripotent stem cells; Bioprinting; Stem cell therapy

MeSH Terms

Bile Ducts*
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Liver Transplantation
Rare Diseases
Regenerative Medicine*
Tissue Donors
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