Brazilian researchers have succesfully bioprinted tiny organoids that perform all of the human liver’s functions, Brazilian news service Agência FAPESP reports — functions including building proteins, storing vitamins and secreting bile.
The researchers had to cultivate and reprogram human stem cells, and then 3D print them in layers to form tissue.
While the “mini-livers” perform the functions of a liver, they’re unfortunately still a far cry from an actual full-scale liver.
Not only could printed livers end a reliance on a very short supply of donor organs, they might end up being safer as well.
“Another important advantage is zero probability of rejection, given that the cells come from the patient,” adds Zatz.
Rather than printing cells one by one, the team developed a new technique that involves grouping cells into clumps, making the printed mini organs last much longer than previous printed organ attempts, according to the researchers. These cell clumps are then mixed with a hydrogel-like bioink and printed out into a three dimensional lattice.
(Excerpt) Read more at futurism.com ...