San Diego Company Aims To Create 3-D Printed Liver Transplant Patches

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One in five Americans in need of a liver transplant dies on the wait list. San Diego-based Organovo hopes to change that by creating transplantable liver tissue in the lab.

The company’s 3-D printed organ tissue is already being used by pharmaceutical companies to test new drugs. And cosmetics giant L’Oreal is using Organovo’s 3-D printed skin to test beauty products. But on Tuesday, the company announced new plans to develop 3-D printed liver tissue for direct transplantation into people.

“People have thought for a long time that 3-D bioprinting showed promise for treating disease more directly, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Organovo CEO Keith Murphy said.

Organovo’s goal is to create a patch of lab-assembled liver tissue that could extend a patient’s life, giving chronic liver disease patients who suffer an acute failure more time to receive a full organ transplant.

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