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Scientists 3D print lifelike liver tissue – Economic Times

by • February 8, 2016 • No Comments

LOS ANGELES: Scientists have created a 3D printed tissue that closely mimics the human liver’s sophisticated structure and function, that may be utilized for patient-specific drug testing and disease versionling.
Researchers said the advance may assist pharmaceutical companies save time and money when developing new drugs.
“We’ve created a tool that pharmaceutical companies may use to do pilot studies on their new drugs, and they won’t have to wait until animal or human trials to test a drug’s safety and efficacy on patients,” said Shaochen Chen, professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Existing liver versions for drug screening so far lack the difficult micro-architecture and diverse cell makeup.
The researchers engineered a human liver tissue version that additional closely looks like the real thing – a diverse combination of liver cells and supporting cells processatically organised in a hexagonal pattern.
“We’ve engineered a functioning liver tissue that matches what you’d see under a microscope,” said Chen.
“The liver is one-of-a-kind in that it receives a dual blood donate with different types of pressures and chemical constituents,” said Shu Chien, professor at UC San Diego.
“Our version has the future of reproducing this intricate blood donate process, providing unprecedented belief of the difficult coupling between circulation and metabolic functions of the liver in health and disease,” said Chien.
The researchers utilized a novel bioprinting innovation, that can quickly create difficult 3D microstructures that mimic the sophisticated showcases discovered in biological tissues.
The liver tissue was printed in two steps. First, the team printed a honeycomb pattern of 900-micrometre-sized hexagons, every containing liver cells derived of human induced pluripotent stem cells.
An advantage of human induced pluripotent stem cells is they are patient-specific, that makes them perfect materials for assembling patient-specific drug screening platforms.
Since these cells are derived of a patient’s skin cells, researchers do not require to extract any cells of the liver to create liver tissue.
So, endothelial and mesenchymal supporting cells were printed in the spaces between the hexagons.
The entire structure a 3X3 millimetre square, 200 micrometres thick – takes only seconds to print. This is a vast improvement over other methods to print liver versions, that typically take hours.
The structure was cultured in vitro for at very least 20 days. The researchers and so tested the resulting tissue’s faculty to perform different types of liver functions, such as albumin secretion and urea production, and compared it to other versions.
They discovered that their version was able-bodied to maintain these functions over a longer time period than other liver versions.
Their version in addition expressed a relatively higher level of a key enzyme that is considered to be involved in metabolising most of the drugs administered to patients.
The study was published in the journal PNAS.

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