Using stem cells extracted from humans, the researchers developed miniature human livers in the lab and then successfully transplanted them into living rats. The study was recently published in Cell Reports, and the researchers detailed the experiment and its results. Microhuman livers look and behave like naturally developed livers, including the ability to divide urinrics and bile acids, the report said.
Liver disease affects many people, and in the worst case, some patients need a liver transplant to survive. At this point, the grafts come from the donor, which means that the recipient must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. It’s not ideal, medical science has long dreamed of one day being able to grow patients’ organs in the lab and transplant them into their bodies.
The researchers note that these transplantable organs will “significantly” affect the treatment of liver disease. Using iPSC stem cells, which are derived from skin cells, scientists were able to create miniature livers and transplant them into rats. According to the study, the livers remained functional for four days after transplantation in rats.
Studies have shown that these tiny livers have grown in less than a month, and the only problem is blood flow around the transplanted liver. However, these livers are still effective, as evidenced by the human liver protein found in rat serum. However, much research is needed before transplantable organs can be produced for humans.