According to UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have grown genetically engineered miniature human livers in the lab. The researchers’ goal is to test therapeutics and learn more about liver diseases.
The researchers used genetically engineered human cells to create a functional liver with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The liver will help researchers understand how the disease is caused, how it progresses, and what can be done to alleviate the disease.
These livers can test drugs during every stage of a disease progression.
“These mini livers aren’t ready for clinical applications like transplantation anytime soon, but I imagine in the future we can make human livers where you can order what kind of function you want, or even enhance function,” senior author and associate professor Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez said.
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