Bioengineered livers are promising in vitro models for drug testing, toxicological studies, and as disease models, and might in the future be an alternative for donor organs to treat end-stage liver diseases. Liver tissue engineering (LTE) aims to construct liver models that are physiologically relevant. To make bioengineered livers, the two most important ingredients are hepatic cells and supportive materials such as hydrogels. In the past decades, dozens of hydrogels have been developed to act as supportive materials, and some have been used for in vitro models and formed functional liver constructs. However, currently none of the used hydrogels are suitable for in vivo transplantation. Here, the histology of the human liver and its relationship with LTE is introduced. After that, significant characteristics of hydrogels are described focusing on LTE. Then, both natural and synthetic materials utilized in hydrogels for LTE are reviewed individually. Finally, a conclusion is drawn on a comparison of the different hydrogels and their characteristics and ideal hydrogels are proposed to promote LTE.
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