New York: The world's smallest 3D printed human liver which can survive for 40 days and functions like the real organ has been developed.
The liver tissue, developed by US-based medical research company Organvo, is only half a millimetre deep and just four millimetres wide.
The company presented the data demonstrating retention of key liver functions in bio-printed tissues for up to 40 days, longer than one month.
The "worlds' smallest human liver" contains 20 layers of hepatocytes, which carry out liver functions, along with two major types of liver cell, Metro.Co.Uk reported.
The printer adds cells from the lining of a blood vessel, which allows the liver cells to receive nutrients and oxygen.
Organovo's 3D Liver tissue can potentially have value in assessing toxicology problems in human liver over a long period, including sub-acute and multiple dose effects, the company said in a statement.
"This additional functional validation of Organovo's 3D Liver continues the demonstration of strong performance of these tissues," said Keith Murphy, Organovo's chief executive officer.
"In April we were able to show that liver function was retained in our 3D Liver for over five days, and we have now demonstrated that our tissues perform consistently for at least 40 days, a significant improvement over the average 48 hour performance of 2D cultures," said Murphy.
Organovo generated bio-printed liver tissue prototypes that contain both parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells in spatially controlled, user-defined geometries that reproduce compositional and architectural features of native tissue.