Lab-Grown Liver Tissue Could Save Liver Failure Patients15 years, 7 months ago
Posted on Jul 02, 2003, 12 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
US researchers have managed to grow small amounts of fully-functioning liver tissue from human liver stem cells taken from organs deemed unsuitable for transplant. Dr J
US researchers have managed to grow small amounts of fully-functioning liver tissue from human liver stem cells taken from organs deemed unsuitable for transplant. Dr Jörg Gerlach and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh cultured the stem cells in bioreactors, which contained all the nutrients needed for the stem cells to mature and develop into liver tissue. Tests of the liver tissue on eight patients who had severe liver failure, and some of which were in a coma, showed that the tissue was effective at filtering toxins from the blood and that it kept the patients alive for long enough until a transplant organ was found. As well as keeping those with chronic liver failure alive until a suitable donor organ becomes available, Gerlach believes that the liver tissue will be useful for those with acute liver failure as it could be used to filter their blood while their own liver regenerates. The tissue may also help people with liver cancer.
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 18th June 2003