Mini-Livers Made By 3D Printer

Tiny livers have been printed in the lab by Organovo in San Diego, California. These mini-livers are just four millimeters across and half a millimeter deep, but they perform most of the functions of real livers.


(Organovo 3D prints mini-livers)

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.

Existing liver assays, based on single or double layers of cells, only last two days and don't have the same range of functions as the micro-discs.

The realistic structure and functioning of the mini-livers make them good predictors of the toxicity of drugs and other substances. They produce albumin, the liver protein that bulks up blood and ferries hormones, salts and drugs throughout the body. They also make cholesterol, which carries fat in the bloodstream, and produce major detoxification enzymes, called cytochrome P450s, that metabolise drugs in the liver.

Artificially grown livers for transplantation was one of the issues discussed by science fiction writer Larry Niven in his 1968 novel A Gift from Earth:

...For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots, but eventually we can build culture tanks in Gamma and Delta and Eta."
(Read more about Larry Niven's artificially grown organs)

Via New Scientist.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/29/2013)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Three Clues To Limb Regeneration
'Forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers...' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

Electric Head Patch Helps PTSD Patients
'Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis models.' - Robert Sheckley, 1956.

MEDi Robot Calms The Nervous Patient
'Specially programmed stabilizing surrogate devices.' - Anne McCaffrey, 1990.

One-Shot Gene Therapy Cure $665K
One shot - one cure. Guaranteed.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Once A Jolly Swagbot Camped By A Billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree...

Juno Gets Close To Jupiter, Fiction Gets Closer!
Amazing Juno spacecraft cozies up to the biggest planet in our solar system.

NASA Submarine For Titan
'Straight away from the shore it swam, seeing nothing but flecks of paraffin...'

Sketching Robots May Displace Starving Artists
Jeez, robots, leave us with something.

Three Clues To Limb Regeneration
'Forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers...'

Soft Caterpillar Robot Powered By Light
'the spread-out "puddle" shape she used for soaking up sun...'

Converting Low Temp Waste Heat To Electricity
'Our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

Flex Robot Surgeon - Let's Hope You're Sedated
There are other insertion points, right, Neo?

Liquid Metal Terminator Development Hums Right Along
More research is needed - check!

Kiwi Dominos Drone Pizza Delivery
If you can deliver diapers, you can deliver pizzas.

MIT Robot Helps Out In Delivery Room
Oooee nooomaa oooee. And you thought today's doctors were hard to understand.

Self-Healing Textiles! Say Goodbye To Torn Jeans
'The constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults...'

Fleets Of Ford Autonomous Cars In 5 Years
'He urgently addressed the vehicle's AI."Can't we go any faster?'

Electric Head Patch Helps PTSD Patients
'Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis models.'

MEDi Robot Calms The Nervous Patient
'Specially programmed stabilizing surrogate devices.'

NASA's Interplanetary Internet DTN
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.