Scientists in Beijing, China, have successfully developed a liver tissue which closely mimics the structure of the organ and could be useful in drug testing and transplants in patients suffering from liver failure.
The microfluidics-based tissue that copies the liver's complex lobules, the organ's tiny structures was built from a liver and an aorta, the body's main artery.
‘Chinese scientists have developed liver tissue which can be used for clinical applications and screening drugs for side effects and potentially harmful interactions.’
AdvertisementIn the lab, the engineered tissue had a metabolic rate that was closer to real-life levels than other liver models, and it successfully simulated how a real liver would react to various drug combinations.
The liver plays a critical role in digesting food and detoxifying the toxins in our body. But due to a variety of factors, including viral infections, alcoholism and drug reactions, the organ can develop chronic or acute problems.
Liver failure can be life-threatening and can require a transplant, a procedure that currently depends on human donors. Jinyi Wang and colleagues came up with the new approach to create a tissue rather than depending on organ donors.
The researchers conclude their approach could lead to the development of functional liver tissue for clinical applications and screening drugs for side effects and potentially harmful interactions.