Drink Up? 3D Printers Are Now Building Tiny Human Livers

Whether you’re a really small alcoholic, or a budding Hannibal Lecter too scared to kill but dying for a main course to accompany the fava beans, this is good news:

Lab-grown livers have come a step closer to reality thanks to a 3D printer loaded with cells (see video above). Created by Organovo in San Diego, California, future versions of the system could produce chunks of liver for transplant…

Organovo’s ultimate goal is to create human-sized structures suitable for transplant; the big hurdle is being able to print larger branched networks of blood vessels to nourish such an organ. The company unveiled the mini-livers at the annual Experimental Biology conference this week in Boston.

I hope you were sitting down for this news, because otherwise you’d be forced to “Stand and 3D Liver!”

(Had to force that into the story somehow.)

Source: NewScientist via Gizmodo