For the first time, human liver tissues have been generated that are truly three-dimensional, being up to 500 microns in thickness in the smallest dimension, and consisting of multiple cell types arranged in defined spatial patterns that reproduce key elements of native tissue architecture. The tissues, fabricated using Organovo’s proprietary NovoGen™ bioprinting platform, are highly reproducible and exhibit superior performance compared to standard 2D controls.
These tissues are first step towards larger 3D liver, laboratory tests with these samples have the potential to be game changing for medical research. We believe these models will prove superior in their ability to provide predictive data for drug discovery and development, better than animal models or current cell models.
The tissues are not a monolayer of cells; our tissues are approximately 20 cell layers thick. Second, the multi-cellular tissues closely reproduce the distinct cellular patterns found in native tissue. Finally, our tissues are highly cellular, comprised of cells and the proteins those cells produce, without dependence on biomaterials or scaffold for three-dimensionality. They actually look and feel like living tissues
These novel 3D liver tissues possessed critical liver functions, including albumin production, fibrinogen and transferrin production, and inducible cytochrome P450 enzymatic activities, including CYP 1A2 and CYP 3A4. Cholesterol biosynthesis was also demonstrated for the first time in a multi-cellular 3D human liver system in vitro, suggesting utility in the study of interventional strategies aimed at regulation of cholesterol secretion.
Albumin production by 3D bioprinted liver tissues was 5-9 times greater than matched 2D controls, suggesting superior functionality.
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