Human mini-liver transplanted into rats are fully-functional
Researchers created a functioning mini-human liver and successfully transplanted it into rats.
PITTSBURGH — Researchers created a functioning mini-human liver and successfully transplanted it into rats.
According to a report published in Cell Reports, experts from the University of Pittsburgh successfully developed and transplanted functioning human mini-livers into rats.
Scientists created the mini livers by using human skin cells and then reverting them into a stem cell state. These cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells and other types of cells can derive from them.
They then used chemicals and hormones to induce differentiation. This pushed the induced pluripotent stem cells into becoming liver cells. The newly created liver cells were then seeded on mini-liver bioreactors.
The lab-grown livers were then transplanted into five immunosuppressed mice or mice whose immune system would be less likely to reject the organ. Four days after the transplant, the mice were dissected in order to examine how well the implanted organ functioned.
After dissecting the rats, researchers found all five rats had blood circulation issues around the graft of the mini-liver. However, the rats had human liver proteins in their blood serum indicating that the livers were working properly.
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