Liver fibrosis is when excess scar tissue forms in the liver. The few treatment options available can only slow down liver fibrosis, not stop or reverse it. Eventually, liver fibrosis develops into liver cirrhosis, which causes about one million deaths per year worldwide. So, there is an urgent need for effective therapies to stop liver fibrosis.
Research into the causes of liver fibrosis has often used rodents such as rats and mice. But due to substantial differences between species, there is no suitable animal model of the disease. As a result, the translation of research findings from animal experiments into treatments for humans has repeatedly failed.
We need to find new ways to study how liver fibrosis develops that are more relevant to humans, so that we can find new treatments to stop the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.