Stem Cell Researchers Create Working Miniature Human Livers in Lab

November 2nd, 2010 - 2:15 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 1 (THAINDIAN NEWS) An early breakthrough milestone has been reached by researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. In the attempt to grow human livers inside of a lab, they are the first to succeed, after they were able to engineer miniature livers which actually work just as human liver would.

The next thing which they plan to do is find out whether or not the livers will work as needed once they are transplanted into animal models. Their ultimate goal is to provide livers for those who wait for donors, and desperately need transplants. It may also be possible for them to research the effects of different drugs on human livers.

The research will be presented at the yearly meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases which is located in Boston.

Shay Soker, Ph.D. who is a professor of regenerative medicine and the director of the project stated, “We are excited about the possibilities this research represents, but must stress that we’re at an early stage and many technical hurdles must be overcome before it could benefit patients. Not only must we learn how to grow billions of liver cells at one time in order to engineer livers large enough for patients, but we must determine whether these organs are safe to use in patients.”

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