Scientists have been studying for quite some timeresearch on the cultivation of artificial organs, but until recently, obtaining viable samples was rather difficult. However, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh for the first time in history have grown a human liver in a laboratory. And they did it on the basis of genetically modified cells.
How to grow a liver?
As the publication Eurek Alert, to createartificial liver scientists took two phases. During the first phase, specialists took human skin cells and genetically modified them, creating stem cells from them. In parallel, scientists took the rat’s liver and removed its own cells from there, leaving only its “frame” from the organ. After that, the previously obtained stem cells were implanted into a rat liver.
This is interesting: Scientists from MIT printed the liver on a 3D printer.
In the second phase, placing the liver in a specialnutrient medium, due to the presence of the skeleton, tissues similar to human liver tissues were formed in the organ. Only the resulting liver, of course, was much smaller. Inside the organ itself, a developed network of blood vessels has formed.
Why do we need an artificial liver?
One would suggest that suchartificial liver (if, of course, increase in size) is suitable for transplantation. Perhaps in the future, scientists will deal with such an application of this technology.
But in this experiment, it was used tostudying how non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs. This is a disease in which the tissue of the liver cells is replaced by fat. In particular, scientists have found that one of the drugs for treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, resveratrol is practically useless. At the same time, the authors of the work do not exclude the further use of an artificial liver as a test "testing ground" for new drugs.
Our study will help to study the work andthe functioning of the organ at all stages of the disease in order to develop more effective methods of therapy. - said the lead author of the work, Dr. Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez. Despite the fact that now the liver is not ready for transplantation, over time we will be able to not only create organs, but also improve them, endowing them with useful functions.
If you want to know more, subscribe to our page in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published materials that cannot be found on the site.