03 November 2010

Liver from a test tube

Researchers at Wake Forest University for the first time created a functioning human liver in laboratory conditions - so far, however, miniature, according to a press release from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center “Researchers Engineer Miniature Human Livers in the Lab”.

To date, the need for organs for transplantation significantly exceeds the number of available donor organs, so in recent years, specialists have been spending a lot of effort on developing cellular technologies not only to maintain the functions of the affected organs, but also to grow new organs outside the body for subsequent transplantation.

Such technologies are based on the use of stem cells, which under certain conditions are able to give rise to various types of cells in the body. However, creating a full-fledged three-dimensional organ is a very difficult task.

To solve this problem, the developers used the frameworks obtained after "washing" the rodent livers from the cells. Such scaffolds are collagen structures permeated with a system of scaffolds for the formation of blood vessels. The researchers populated the skeletons with immature liver cells and endothelial cells necessary for the formation of new blood vessels. After a week, which the skeletons populated with cells spent in a bioreactor that provided the cells with nutrients and oxygen, the researchers noted not only active cell growth, but also signs of normal functioning of tiny organs. At the same time, the cells of the tissue forming inside the skeletons expressed all the cellular markers and proteins characteristic of hepatocytes.

The next stage of the work will be the implantation of such organs to animals in order to test their functions in a living organism. After that, the main task will be to grow a liver, the size of which will allow it to be transplanted to a person.

According to the researchers, the adult liver consists of 100 billion hepatocytes, whereas in this work they used only 100 million cells. The huge difference in quantity is obvious, but the ultimate goal of the work is to create an organ whose size will be approximately 30% of the size of an adult liver, since this is enough to support human life, in addition, as is known, liver tissue is capable of regeneration and growth in the conditions of the body.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of CNews R&D


Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version