Scientists develop most sophisticated human liver model in the laboratory that better mimics foetal development and function of the human liver, revealed lead researcher Shay Soker, Professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, US. The liver organoids, made with human cells, are less than one-third inch in diameter. These will also help advance scientists understanding about bile duct formation. "We expect these organoids to advance our understanding of how liver diseases -- especially congenital diseases -- start and progress so improved treatments can be developed," Soker added. ‘New functional model of a human liver developed in the lab, could help scientists improve treatment for liver diseases. ’ To make the organoids, scientists allowed foetal liver progenitor cells, an immature cell that is destined to become a specialised liver cell, to self-assemble on a small disc. The discs are made of ferret liver that has been processed to remove all of the animal's cells. The resulting organoids, which assemble within two to three weeks, are the first to model actual human liver development. In the research, reported in the journal Hepatology, the scientists showed that these organoids generated hepatocytes -- the main functional cells of the liver. Moreover, the study also shows the stepwise maturation of bile ducts exactly as can be observed in the human foetal liver. Bile ducts carry bile -- a fluid that is secreted by the liver and collected in the gallbladder to digest fats. This model of bile ductal development can potentially be used to study the hereditary disease biliary atresia that occurs in infants. "Altogether, the team has created a laboratory model of human liver development and disease that will help advance our understanding about bile duct formation," said Pedro Baptista, from the varsity. Source: IANS << Gut Bacteria Linked to Metabolic Syndrome Natural Product to Treat Thyroid Disorder, Coming Soon >> Recommended Reading Common Types of Liver diseases leading to Liver Transplantation Liver disease that ends in liver failure (end stage liver disease), disrupting several important metabolic functions needs liver transplant for patient survival. READ MORE Quiz on Liver How many of us know that the liver is a vital organ the size of an American Football? To understand more about the liver and its functions spend a few minutes taking part in this ... READ MORE Test Your Knowledge on Liver Cancer Primary hepatocellular carcinoma is a cancer that starts in the liver. The liver is the largest organ in the body situated in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. The liver is also a common site for cancer deposits (metastases) from other ... READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) The Essence of Yoga Accident and Trauma Care More News on: Hepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?