Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Now, 3D printer creates world's smallest working human liver

In an extraordinary feat, American scientists have successfully created the world's smallest human liver using a 3D printer that can work for forty days just like the real organ. Designed by medical research company in California, the mini-livers are just half a millimeter deep and four millimeters wide.

The 3D printer builds up 20 layers of hepatocytes cells that are responsible for carrying out liver functions, and two major types of liver cell.

Additionally, the printer adds cells from the lining of a blood vessel, which allows the liver cells to receive nutrients and oxygen.

Previously the company were able to show that liver function was retained in their 3D liver for over five days. And, now their tissues perform consistently for at least 40 days, a significant improvement over the average 48 hour performance of 2D cultures.

While research is in the early stages, scientists think that future versions could be used for transplants.


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