3D Printed Liver Detects Toxicity of a Drug


Pioneering 3D printing biology company Organovo has demonstrated how its ‘3D Human Liver System’ can detect the toxicity level of a drug. The results are a breakthrough for the often drawn out drug trial process, with the technology hoping to provide another channel of drug testing during the pre-clinical trial stage.

The company’s ‘3D Human Liver System’ creates human liver tissue using bioprinting technology. Researchers at Organovo are able to cultivate liver tissue in a petri dish with the help of a sophisticated 3D printing machine that create the organism. The latest progression in the innovation is that the tissue created is responding to the toxicity level of drugs when they are applied. Traditionally, when this trial is performed on patients it is both costly and time consuming.

Keith Murphy, CEO of Organovo, commented:‘Organovo met a key challenge in this recent quarter. While we knew our liver tissue showed metabolic activity and basic toxicology results comparable to native tissue, we had to ask the question: could it be predictive of drug problems where other methods have failed? These results demonstrate clearly for the first time that our tissue has been able to detect drug-induced liver injury that other methods in the past failed to predict.’

The company hopes to roll out a commercial product of its 3D Human Liver Tissue later this year. The possibilities of this technology with regards to drug testing is endless, as it could assist in either expediting drugs to market or ensuring resources are not wasted on treatments which are toxic to the human body. OCM.

Pictures: Organovo

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