Researchers Successfully Rehab Used Livers into Healthy Organs, and Transplant Them

Monday, June 14, 2010 - 14:32 in Health & Medicine

Washing Out Old Livers An unseeded rat liver has been stripped of its old cells and placed in culture to await a set of new, healthy cells. The pink fluid is a nutrient solution that keeps the organ's architecture alive during the cellular swap. Brittany Sauser Liver disease is the 12th-leading cause of death in the U.S., chiefly because once it's determined that a patient needs a new liver it's very difficult to get one. Even in cases where a suitable donor match is found, there's no guarantee a transplant will be successful. But researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have taken a huge step toward building functioning livers in the lab, successfully transplanting culture-grown livers into rats. The livers aren't grown from scratch, but rather within the infrastructure of a donor liver. The liver cells in the donor organ are washed out with a detergent that gently strips away the liver cells,...

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