Using human blood cells, researchers successfully 3D bioprinted “mini-livers” that perform all liver’s typical functions . Liver tissue can be made in the lab in only 90 days and may in futu

Publicado em 18 dezembro 2019

  • Hosted by the University of São Paulo, HUG-CELL is one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers funded by FAPESP. This study combined bioengineering techniques, such as cell reprogramming and the cultivation of pluripotent stem cells, with 3D bioprinting.
  • “More stages have yet to be achieved until we obtain a complete organ, but we’re on the right track to highly promising results. In the very near future, instead of waiting for an organ transplant, it may be possible to take cells from the patient and reprogram them to make a new liver in the laboratory. Another important advantage is zero probability of rejection, given that the cells come from the patient,” said Mayana Zatz, director of HUG-CELL and last author of the article published in Biofabrication.
  • The innovative part of the study resided in how the cells were included in the bioink used to produce tissue in the 3D printer.
  • The researchers thereby avoided a problem faced by most human tissue bioprinting techniques, namely, the gradual loss of contact among cells and hence loss of tissue functionality.
  • “We started the differentiation process with the cells already grouped together. They were cultured in agitation, and groups formed spontaneously,” Goulart told Agência FAPESP. A liver in 90 days.
  • Initially, the blood cells are reprogrammed to regress to a stage of pluripotency characteristic of stem cells, becoming induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • The article “3D bioprinting of liver spheroids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells sustain liver function and viability in vitro” by Ernesto Goulart, Luiz Carlos de Caires-Junior, Kayque Alves Telles-Silva, Bruno Henrique Silva Araujo, Silvana Aparecida Rocco, Mauricio Sforca, Irene Layane de Sousa, Gerson Shigeru Kobayashi, Camila Manso Musso, Amanda Faria Assoni, Danyllo Oliveira, Elia Caldini, Silvano Raia, Peter I. Lelkes and Mayana Zatz can be retrieved from