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 ")

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1939.

Feeling A Poke On Your Robotic Hand
'Take care, sir.'

Deep Brain Stimulation Soon Without Surgery
'I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented.' - Philip K. Dick, 1968.

GyroGlove Idea For Parkinson's Was Suggested In 1926
'The gyroscope was revolving at the rate of three thousand revolutions a minute, and the slight humming was hardly noticeable...' - Ellis Parker Butler, 1926

 

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

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.'

MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.'

Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
'Give the noble daydreams a rest, you preachy rookie. Astronauts are wage slaves like everyone else!'

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.'

LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'

China's XPNAV 1 To Use X-Ray Pulsars For Navigation
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Artificial Muscle Material Is Self-Healing, Super Stretchy
Battletech!

Google Zero-Shot Translation Gives Star Trek Fans Hope
"This is your opponent!"

Moley Kitchen Robot Ready By 2018
'...the electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Tricking Cells Into Making Silicon Chips
'Fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000
Nothing to worry about, until computers control most vital systems.

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.