Researchers at the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center (HUG-CELL), hosted by the University of São Paulo’s Institute of Biosciences (IB-USP) in Brazil, have developed a technique to reconstruct and produce livers in the laboratory.
The proof-of-concept study was conducted with rat livers.The study was supported by FAPESP and is reported in an article published in Materials Science and Engineering: C.
“The study shows it’s possible to induce human stem cell differentiation in cell lineages that are part of a liver and use these cells to reconstruct the organ so that it’s functional. It’s proof of concept, the first demonstration that the technique works,” said MayanaZatz, HUG-CELL’s principal investigator and last author of the article.
The liver cells were injected with a syringe pump into rat liver extracellular matrices to produce an organ with human characteristics. It grew for five weeks in an incubator that simulated the conditions in the human body. Analysis showed that extracellular matrix enrichment with SPARC and TGFB1 significantly improved recellularization.
The technique can be adapted to produce other organs, such as lungs, hearts, and skin, he added.