London: An Indian origin scientist and her team have made a breakthrough that could lead to development of artificial livers for transplantation.The liver can indeed regenerate itself if part of it is removed. However, researchers trying to exploit that ability in hopes of producing artificial liver tissue for transplantation have repeatedly been stymied: Mature liver cells, known as hepatocytes, quickly lose their normal function when removed from the body."It`s a paradox because we know liver cells are capable of growing, but somehow we can`t get them to grow" outside the body, said Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a senior associate member of the Broad Institute and a member of MIT`s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. Now, Bhatia and colleagues have taken a step toward that goal. They have identified a dozen chemical compounds that can help liver cells not only maintain their normal function while grown in a lab dish, but also multiply to produce new tissue.
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