Scientists have grown a mini-liver for mice from human stem cells

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Stem cells can actually be something surprising in the context of the possibility of growing and transplanting human and animal organs – and therefore many research teams around the world continue to actively experiment with various methods and approaches for growing organs using directly human stem cells. And today, a talented team of microbiologists from several US universities published in the scientific journal Cell Reports their results of such an experiment, during which they grew a mini-liver and transplanted it to several experimental rats with all the procedures.

Looking ahead, we can say that the experiment was indeed successful, because experts did not notice any deviations and problems in the engraftment of a foreign liver in the body of mice. The mini-liver itself – so named for the reason that it is about 1/10 the size of the normal size of the human liver – was grown using stem cells like iPSC, which are also called cutaneous stem cells.

For this, the scientists needed a total of one month, which also included several additional procedures and tests, in order to identify potential pathologies and disturbances in the work of such a grown organ. Having not found any, the specialists transplanted several of these organs into mice, and after the first few days they also did not find any problems – except for the not quite stable blood flow to the place where the new liver was sewn, connecting to the circulatory system of mice. However, this is the least visible problem in such studies.

Thus, the scientists managed to carry out a rather complicated and risky experiment, which clearly demonstrated that in a relatively short time modern medicine will be able to quickly and accurately grow and integrate complete organs using directly the DNA of the patient himself – and this will in theory get rid of such a cumbersome and long time waiting process, like finding a suitable donor.

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