A human liver has been grown inside a mouse, giving hope that patients could receive new organs created from their own skin cells within a decade.
The breakthrough would eradicate donor waiting lists and the risk of the body rejecting a replacement organ.
Japanese scientists used stem cells to create liver ‘buds’ within mice which grew into a piece of human tissue measuring 5mm.
It is hoped the work carried out by researchers at Yokohama City University could also be used to grow other replacement organs.
‘This science opens up the distinct possibility of being able to create mini-livers from the skin cells of a patient dying of liver failure that, when transplanted, would not be subjected to immune rejection as happens with conventional liver transplants today,’ said Prof Malcolm Alison, stem cell biologist at Queen Mary, University of London.
Dr Matthew Smalley, of Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, said: ‘The study holds out real promise for a viable alternative approach to human organ transplants.’
The mouse must be enormouse!