Miniature human livers can be grown from stem cells and implanted into rats – and hopefully, one day humans
Imagine needing a liver transplant, and instead of waiting for a donor, a new one could be grown from your own skin cells. Scientists have now taken quite a big step towards that future, by successfully transplanting miniature human livers grown from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) into rats.
Organ transplants save lives, but there are hurdles to overcome. For one, there’s a constant shortage of donors and, even when one is found, the patient’s immune system often rejects the new tissue.
Growing a replacement organ from a patient’s own cells could solve both problems. It can be done on demand when a patient needs one, and the organ won’t be rejected because the immune system recognizes the cells as “self.”