Working Human Liver Tissue Created with 3D-Bioprinting
3D-Bioprinted Human Liver Tissue Functional, Replacement Organs the Goal
3D bioprinted human liver tissue was successfully created by the company Organovo, revealed at the annual Experimental Biology conference this week in Boston. The in-vitro mini-livers are just half a millimetre deep and 4 millimetres across but can perform most functions of the real thing. To create them, a printer builds up about 20 layers of hepatocytes and stellate cells – two major types of liver cell. Crucially, it also adds cells from the lining of blood vessels. These form a delicate mesh of channels that supply the liver cells with nutrients and oxygen, allowing the tissue to live for five days or longer. The cells come from spare tissue removed in operations and biopsies.
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