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Scientists develop method to regrow human liver tissue

Category: Liver Diseases

Liver testing that reveals cirrhosis or other types of severe damage often end up requiring liver transplants. However, they may soon be able to regrow their own tissue, according to new research from the University Medical Center in Hamburg, Germany.

The investigators report in the journal Liver Transplantation that they were able to successfully regrow human liver tissue, and that this tissue could be used to keep patients' livers functioning until a suitable donor can be located or eventually allow doctors to grow entire organs.

Liver cells from the patient are currently used in transplants to decrease the odds of rejection. However, these cells have had a limited role in the process because they are often damaged or weakened when they are removed from the body. The researchers were able to find a way to overcome this using a special type of scaffolding system.

"Our experimental model represents a promising technique to culture human liver cells and prepare them for transplantation on a biodegradable polymer scaffold into the peritoneal cavity," said Joerg-Mathias Pollack, who led the development of the new technique.

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